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Robert Carreau Memorial Trail Update 11/22/2020
It is astonishing to think that only one week ago we walked the RLC trail system in driving winds and freezing rain to survey what it would take to create the Robert Carreau Memorial Trail as a way to honour Robert. A project of this magnitude usually takes at least six months of planning and fundraising before a shovel ever hits the ground, but it occurred to us – “WHY WAIT?” 

In just a few short days Hap Wilson of ECO Trailbuilders, one of Canada’s premier trail designers who just happens to be a Rosseau village resident, created a preliminary design for this multi-phase trail system development initiative.  

Casey Erin Wood from RLC’s Parent Guild led the charge and very quickly organized eager parent volunteers for the weekend. Graeme Smith, RLC Outdoor Education Lead and Tia Saley, RLC Round Square Lead were able to harness the help of students who cared so deeply for Robert. Over the weekend this formidable team, under Hap’s direction, were able to uncover and commence restoration of the historic “Lady Eaton Bridle Path”, a trail that travels the entire perimeter of the campus, from the main gate along the waterfront all the way around to the beach and old sauna. While this is just the start for this section, as some areas remain treacherous and still unsafe for use, a massive amount of progress was made. If this wasn’t enough, Hap also set an ecologically sensitive new section of single-track trail that extends where the Lady Eaton Bridle path starts at the main gate, eastward into the woods stretching to the existing trails on the McCarthy Street edge of the property. The teams of volunteers were able to begin the long process of clearing and grooming these naturalized trails, intended for walking and snowshoeing, with minimal impact to the natural forest habitat.

Additionally, a massive part of this Phase One development meant contending with the nine sections of the existing trail system that were engulfed in groundwater, making the system impassible in these areas and limiting the use of the entire trail. A phenomenal response from the community provided us with the initial resources necessary to deal with these issues and make the trail system usable. Monetary donations came in from friends and members of the greater RLC community; with a couple of noteworthy contributions from Tulloch Engineering and Sam Gagner. An astounding number of resources, in the form of construction equipment, materials and skilled machine operators were donated and soon coordinated into action. Over the last two days, stormwater management infrastructure has been installed, along with well over 500 tonnes of aggregate, to raise eight of the nine affected sections of the trail.

We would like to thank Hall Construction, Weeks Construction, Brent Quarries, Fowler Construction, Tamarac North, Rona Parry Sound, North Rosseau Construction, Chris Holmes, Joe Jacklin and Steve Whitehouse for their amazing dedication and contribution to this project. In the coming weeks we will continue working with Hap of ECO Trailbuilders to construct a raised boardwalk, so as not to disturb the natural wetland, at the ninth and final section of this phase. We are hoping to have that complete before winter completely halts our work, at least until we can begin again in the spring.

We look forward to providing everyone with continued updates as we roll out more exciting aspects of this development, a project that truly embodies the best of RLC!

Darren LeClair ‘84 - Board of Directors
Kim Morton ‘88 - Director of Advancement and Communications

“We’ve got this!” - Robert Carreau
Donate to the Robert Carreau Memorial Trail
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Box 50
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Rosseau, ON Canada
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