More pathways considered

More pathways around the area of Stettler Hospital and Stettler Golf Course and Cold Lake appear to be the top priority for residents as the Town of Stettler considers plans to extend the network of pathways under a trails master plan.

More pathways around the area of Stettler Hospital and Stettler Golf Course and Cold Lake appear to be the top priority for residents as the Town of Stettler considers plans to extend the network of pathways under a trails master plan.

Suggestions were expressed to town council and staff during a community planning workshop March 23 that attracted about 16 people, mostly seniors.

“We narrowed it down to three priorities,” said Lee Penner, director of parks and leisure services for the Town of Stettler.

Those priorities included plans to connect the pathway network to the hospital, Cold Lake and to add loops so people don’t have to walk the same pathway back, he said.

“This project will take a number of years to complete,” said Penner.

The town will continue to access funding from Alberta Community Facilities Enhancement Program (CFEP) and has received up to $150,000 in some years to complete more pathways.

Since the first pathway was paved in 1990 in West Stettler Park, the network of paved trails has extended into the community.

“We got a lots of suggestions from residents and identified the area around the hospital and golf course as a top priority,” said Mayor Dick Richards.

“Although we didn’t get a lot of people at the session, we know that the pathway system in our town is well utilized.”

Residents and trail users can still comment on their vision for pathways by completing a questionnaire on the town’s website.

The questionnaire will also be available at the town’s exhibit at the Stettler Trade Show between April 9 and 11.

The town encourages residents to complete the survey, in which residents and trail users are asked to prioritize the top three locations or corridors to add or improve the network and comments about the option for the town to acquire or buy land for more pathways.

“We will compile all the surveys and comments and then determine how we can incorporate them into our plan to extend pathways,” said Mayor Richards.

“The vision for Stettler’s trail master plan is to develop a connected trail network that is accessible and primarily oriented to pedestrians, “said Penner.

“Key goals for this plan are to improve connections between existing trails, parks, green spaces and natural areas.”

A connected network of trails will provide Stettler’s residents and visitors with active, healthy lifestyle opportunities, the ability to travel easily throughout the town without having to rely on a motorized vehicle, and opportunities to experience nature.”

Plans to expand were initiated with a suggestion to enhance paths on the Emmerson connection between 51 and 52 avenues, the junction of 47 Avenue in east Stettler by Main Street and Stettler hospital and golf course and along Highway 12 between 57 and 60 streets.