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Thursday September 29th, 2016

Posted at 8:41pm

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From left: Gordon Orr (TWEPI), Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (Town of Amherstburg), Mayor Ron McDermott (Town of Essex), Claire Wales (ERCF Vice President), Richard Wyma (ERCA General Manager), Ed Sleiman (ERCA Chair), Dave Dyer (Cypher Systems Group) (Handout photo)

The Essex Region Conservation Foundation, Essex Region Conservation Authority and Cypher Systems Group broke ground Thursday on the Cypher Systems Group Greenway.

“Thanks to a generous and significant gift of $250,000 from Cypher Systems Group, and support from the Federal government, the Town of Essex and many corporate and individual donations, we are so thrilled to be here to celebrate the groundbreaking of this long awaited trail,” said Claire Wales, Vice President of the ERCF Board of Directors and a cycling enthusiast. “In total, the ERCF’s Trail On! Campaign has raised over $1 million to develop this trail!”

The abandoned rail line was first donated to the Foundation for development in 2003. This property stretches 26 kilometres, from the urban centre of Essex, to the Town of Amherstburg and intersects with the existing Chrysler Canada Greenway in McGregor. The Foundation launched its Trail On! Campaign in 2012 to raise the funds to complete the project.

“We love this community and are happy to partner with this organization to expand the greenway and improve upon the health and quality of life in our region,” said Brian Schwab, President, Cypher Systems Group. “The ground breaking of this trail has been years in the making and we are thrilled that we could contribute to such a worthy endeavor and be a part of this exciting event.”

The Town of Essex took this opportunity to present a cheque for $100,000 to the project. “Strong local support and generous donations have ensured that this project became a reality. This donation from the Town of Essex shows our appreciation to ERCA and the Essex Region Conservation Foundation and helps to ensure a sustainable future for all of us,” added Essex Mayor Ron McDermott.

In addition to many corporate and individual contributors, the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program invested $500,000 in this trail project.

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