Cor Van Raay donation of $1,000,000 creates shovel ready opportunity for LINK Regional Pathway
COALDALE, ALBERTA – Good times continue to roll for residents of Southern Alberta; the LINK Regional Pathway, a 15-km paved barrier-free accessible pedestrian and bicycle path connecting the west end of the Town of Coaldale to the east end of the City of Lethbridge is now shovel ready for construction this spring thanks in large part to a generous contribution from local businessman and philanthropist Cor Van Raay.
The Pathway funded through grants, in-kind contributions from surrounding Municipalities, and donations raised by the LINK Pathway organization, will provide a safe option for non-vehicular forms for travel. In recognition of the large donation from Cor Van Raay the LINK pathway will be renamed the “Cor Van Raay LINK Pathway”. With 4,000,000 raised in cash and in-kind contributions, the push begins to raise the final $1,000,000 for project completion for path amenities.
“This project is the product of tremendous collaboration and support from the St. Mary River Irrigation District (SMRID), the Town of Coaldale, Lethbridge County and the City of Lethbridge; Everybody is working together,” said Henry Doeve, Chairman of the LINK Pathway project. “However, while the idea of a regional pathway in southern Alberta has been in the planning and visionary stages for the past 10 years, starting of construction on the LINK Pathway was largely made possible by the generous $1 million donation from Cor Van Raay.”
Mr. Van Raay has supported several local programs and initiatives over the years, including a large donation towards building the YMCA in Lethbridge. While most people in the region are familiar with Mr. Van Raay thanks to his success in Agriculture and notable work supporting local charitable efforts, what is less well known is that he is also an avid cyclist:
“I was an avid biker for many years,” said Van Raay. “I kept fit and active, cycling many miles across Canada, Cuba, New Zealand and Europe. However, my favourite spot to cycle was right here at home, riding through the prairie landscape of Southern Alberta. I was excited when I heard about the hard work the LINK Pathway group has been doing to make an accessible pathway in our backyard.”
This new pathway winding through the county of Lethbridge, along the SMRID irrigation canal will link existing trail networks providing barrier-free access between communities to destinations like Henderson park in Lethbridge and the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation in Coaldale. Some of the many amenities being built into the pathway project include picnic areas, bench seating, solar powered lighting, agricultural education story boards, and interpretive display opportunities. A bigger vison of the path project is to become part of The Great Trail of Canada.
With current funding initial construction of the path base and surfacing being done by Dennis Dirtworx will be starting this spring, with fundraising efforts being directed towards raising the final $1,000,000 for construction of the many amenities along the Cor Van Raay LINK Pathway.
For more information on the project, progress on construction, donor information and the many ways you can support the next phase of fundraising visit linkpathway.org