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Dodd’s Lake boardwalk in Innisfail gets a makeover

Town of Innisfail awarded Trans Canada Trail grant as boardwalk considered a viewing enhancement to 56th Street section of national trail

INNISFAIL – The old boardwalk at the southwest side of Dodd’s Lake has a new and improved look.

Thanks to a $1,000 grant from the national non-profit Trans Canada Trail (TCT) organization, the town has been able to make a much-needed upgrade to the wooden infrastructure.

“It was a grant that (TCT) offered to do upgrades and enhancements along the Trans Canada Trail network. We were able to do an upgrade to the boardwalk,” said Steven Kennedy, director of operational services for the Town of Innisfail.

The town was one of 166 trail organizations and volunteer groups across every province and territory in 2022 that received TCT grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 to fund projects to improve trail sections.

The TCT grants are intended to support regular trail maintenance and small improvement projects on existing sections of the Trans Canada Trail, as well as community cleanup events and volunteer training.

The town received its grant in late spring and then with the help of volunteers went out to Dodd’s Lake to fix up the boardwalk.

“We were able to replace a bunch of the boardwalk sections that were all were rotting out. Unfortunately, not everything but at least we started some enhancement to that boardwalk because it is deteriorating quite bad,” said Kennedy, noting the boardwalk is considered a viewing enhancement to the 56th Street section of the TCT trail that runs through Innisfail. “They (TCT) felt that it was a nice project for them to contribute to.”

The upgrade follows the recent partnership between the TCT and the Town of Innisfail that enhanced the town’s 8.5-kilometre TCT trail through town.

Innisfail was connected to the 28,000-kilometre long TCT in 2001 but few knew there was a hint of the trail in or around the town because there was not even a single, solidary sign to mark it.

In 2021 the town received $60,000 from the TCT’s Capital Improvement Program to acquire more than 60 signs, and to create a new trail close to a local rail crossing.

The new signs now dot the 8.5-kilometre trail route through town that starts in the south from the Cottonwood Road.

The TCT in Innisfail then meanders north along roadways before heading west just past 60th Avenue. It circles north past Centennial Park and then east before heading north to the C&E Trail and out of town.