A whale of a new trail

Errington students celebrate the opening of a new walking trail

The official opening of the Errington School Trail last weekend included nature stations and student nature guides (left to right) Amber Deakin

The official opening of the Errington School Trail last weekend included nature stations and student nature guides (left to right) Amber Deakin

With a group of enthusiastic youth nature guides standing by, the new 650-metre Errington School Trail was officially opened Saturday, April 28.

The trail is the first of the community trails linking low-traffic roads to be developed in Area F (Coombs, Errington, Hilliers) to be funded through the Arrowsmith Community Trails Project.

Members of the public joined in the celebration sponsored by the Regional District of Nanaimo at the trailhead where students from Errington Elementary School sang O’ Canada.

There was a special cake and refreshments for the occasion and the crowd was invited to take a walk along the trail where nature stations were set up each with its own nature guide.

The eight nature guides were instructed and trained on the flora that exists throughout the trail.

The Grade four and five students from Errington Elementary School are now experts in their particular piece of nature and will impart their knowledge to other students at the school.

The students wore signs with information about the native plants and trees that grow in the area such as the dull Oregon grape and the salal.

During the opening ceremonies, Wendy Glover of the Errington Elementary School Parent Advisory Council (PAC) said the trail is a huge blessing for the school and fits in with the curriculum of health, fitness and the sciences.  She said the student role models will encourage other kids to learn about nature and she is confident the peer mentorship program will flourish in school.

The completion of the multi-use trail along undeveloped Fairdowne and Kopernick between the school and Middlegate is part of a planned network of trails in Area F that will make it easier for pedestrians, runners, cyclists and equestrians to get out and get active.