This article originally appeared in the Masthead News – Volume 31 Number 09 – September 8, 2021

Dear Editor:

The old saying, “Many hands make light work” doesn’t apply when it comes to handling asphalt and gravel. But volunteers from three community associations joined together recently to fix a potentially serious safety issue on the trail.

The Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Trail (BLT) ends at Highway 3 in Hubley; on the other side of the highway, the St Margarets Bay Area Rails to Trails association (SMBARTA) is in charge of managing and maintaining the trail from Hubley to Hubbards. And that intersection was where the problem had arisen. Over the years, a combination of a double layer of asphalt and the gradual wearing away of the gravel shoulder had created a ridge on either side of the highway at the trail intersections.

So volunteers from three community groups , B.L.T. Rails to Trails, SMBARTA and the Safety Minded ATV Association (SMATVA) formed a work team. In just a few days, led by BLT Board member, Deepak Prasad, and SMBARTA Board member and longtime SMATVA stalwart, Mike Marriott, the team of six volunteers fixed the gravel shoulder and laid an asphalt apron on each side of the intersection.

Trail users were quick to express their appreciation. Tom Pinsent is president of the Nova Scotia Ramblers bicycle club. In an email to Deepak Prasad, Tom wrote, “While in the process of adding our own voices to the request for some action on the crossing…I was very pleasantly surprised when I came through the intersection yesterday to witness that both approaches have been paved! I am impressed and thankful for such quick action from you and both trail associations to get this done.”

This isn’t the first time the three groups have worked together. SMBARTA is a Bay Treasure Chest partner and shares a portion of the lottery revenues with BLT. BLT volunteers also assist in the counts. Members of SMATVA have played an active role in SMBARTA since its formation. And SMBARTA’s maintenance team is headed up by SMBARTA Board Vice-Chair, Neil Mooy, also a SMATVA member, and Mike Marriott.

The repair team also wants to thank East Coast Paving and, specifically, David Jean, for their speedy assistance.

Anne Patrick
Chair of the St Margarets Bay Area Rails to Trails Association