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Mark Behm honoured for work with LV Skating Trail

By Celina Ip

The Township of Laurentian Valley presented public works manager Mark Behm with their first Employee Excellence Award, in honour of his oustanding performance with developing the Laurentian Valley skating trail.

The Township of Laurentian Valley presented public works manager Mark Behm with their first Employee Excellence Award, in honour of his oustanding performance with developing the Laurentian Valley skating trail.

LAURENTIAN VALLEY – The Behm family was honoured with Laurentian Valley’s first Employee Excellence Award in recognition of their outstanding efforts to develop the township’s outdoor skating trail.

 

Capitalizing on Laurentian Valley’s spectacular natural beauty, public works manager Mark Behm and his wife Tracy Behm came up with the novel idea to develop an outdoor skating trail within a scenic wooded area of the township.

After initiating the project, the Behms’ enthusiasm was so contagious that more than 30 Laurentian Valley residents happily volunteered their time and talents towards the development of the trail.

With the help of the township, volunteers and the Laurentian Valley fire department, the trail officially opened in January 2018.

Immediately thereafter, the trail became the area’s biggest winter attraction as it welcomed thousands of residents and visitors who were eager to skate along the scenic path.

The two kilometre outdoor skating trail provided residents and visitors with their own winter wonderland as they skated along the scenic path that travelled through an 85-acre wooded area (located at 1 Henan Road, alongside the Alice and Fraser Recreation Centre and the Timberline Snowmobile Club).

“The response from the community was more than anyone anticipated,” Mayor Steve Bennett said. “Thousands of people visited the trail and it quickly became a popular location for families to get together and enjoy the winter weather.”

On June 19, during the Township of Laurentian Valley’s council meeting, Bennett commended the Behm family on their outstanding idea and the long hours of hard work and planning that went into the realization of that vision.

“Mark had a vision for the skating trail and he shared his ideas with Dean Sauriol and council last year. He presented a detailed plan, saw its potential as a local attraction for residents and visitors alike, and was prepared to put in many unpaid hours, along with volunteers, to make his vision a reality. He also garnered many in-kind donations from the local business community which proved invaluable during the trail’s first year of operation,” said Bennett.

Bennett and chief administrative officer Dean Sauriol were more than pleased to present the Behm family with the municipality’s first Employee Excellence Award.

“Our Employee Excellence Award was designed to celebrate employees who demonstrate a high degree of service and Mr. Behm has done just that,” said Sauriol. “He exemplifies the commitment and civic pride we all have for Laurentian Valley Township.”

Behm expressed that he’s more than honored to receive the award but that he’s accepting it on behalf of everyone who was involved with the project – involved the fire department and the many volunteers.

“I’m accepting it on behalf of everyone who helped out and gave their time towards the project – it was a real community effort,” said Behm.

Moving forward, the township has plans to expand the two kilometre trail, make it more accessible and turn it into a year-round recreation area.

Since receiving $17,670 throughout their successful application for the County of Renfrew’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge Grant, some of those funds will support the township’s plans to further develop the trail and enhance the experience for visitors.

“It’s wonderful hat the township has this 85-acre property and our ultimate goal is to expand the two kilometres into a 10 kilometre trail. We’d also like it to be a year-round trail for walking, biking, skating and snow-shoeing,” said Behm.

Upgrades to the skating trail will occur during the off season along with the development of a calendar of special events to attract more people for the 2018/19 season.

For information, please visit the Township’s website at www.lvtownship.ca or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lvtownship.ca/.

cip@postmedia.com 



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