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Community Legacy Projects

Legacy Project Is a Walk in the Park for Jarvis Lions Club

Madeleine Miller, ABC October 20, 2017

When the Jarvis Lions Club in Ontario, Canada, was contemplating a Centennial Legacy Project, they were dreaming big. This group of ambitious Lions wanted to create a project that was spectacular, yet practical. One that others would take notice of to attain maximum visibility for their club and for the service that Lions perform every day around the world.

Their dream began to take shape when several club members visited a nearby community that had a paved walking trail encircling a lake in one of its parks. The Jarvis Lions loved the idea of installing a trail in their own community. Although Jarvis doesn’t have a lake, they thought that the Lions Ball Park would be the perfect place for a trail. They pitched the idea to club members, and their dream soon became a reality in the form of the Jarvis Lions Walking Trail.

“We wanted to sponsor a significant project that would involve our residents, local businesses and elected representatives,” said Rick Fess, co-chair of the Special Projects Committee. “We also wanted to create something that could be used by everyone—those who live here and those who visit.”

So the Lions got busy fundraising. They solicited dozens of area companies, delivering letters in person to local businesses. They appealed to individuals, posted notices on Facebook and directed funds from their annual variety show to raise money. According to Fess, however, it was the personal connections that were key to their success.

Numerous companies contributed to the project as did many area residents. Haldimand County pitched in and covered 35% of the total cost, which totaled $220,000. The project consisted of the construction of a 1.1 kilometer (.7 mile) paved walking trail with benches and solar lighting around the perimeter of the park. Club members planted trees and installed the lighting and the benches. In August of 2017, they officially opened the trail with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Every day, from sunup till sundown, people are hitting the trail to get some exercise—walking, biking, and just taking in the wonder of nature. They come with baby strollers, in wheelchairs and on senior scooters, all to enjoy the beauty of this terrific trail and to follow it wherever it leads.

“The whole community has embraced this project from the beginning,” remarked Tom Montague, co-chair of the Special Projects Committee, “and the amount that it’s being used by everyone is very rewarding. I really believe that the use of the trail will remain strong for a long time to come because it is used by people of all ages. The Jarvis Lions Club is so proud to have enhanced the recreational opportunities in our small town at no cost to the people who use it.”

What will your Lions club legacy be? This is the last year to celebrate the Centennial with a Legacy Project, so start planning yours today!