After over three years of planning, developing, and fundraising, Portage Atlantic was proud to host board members and donors to the official opening of the Recovery Trail on November 8, 2013. The guests walked a small portion of the 3.8 km trail to the new cabin in the woods for a small ceremony, where residents explained how much it means to them to have a quiet and safe place on site where they can get some fresh air and exercise.
The trail through the 165 acre property was extended and enhanced to offer a more accessible route for walking, running, biking, and snowshoeing, providing the youth in treatment with more options to be active outdoors and to enjoy the therapeutic value of nature. The new cabin, which will be used for group meetings and overnight camping, has a wood stove, bunk beds, a barbecue and picnic tables.
One resident explained that the trail “represents the journey we’re starting now, where we can go, and the beauty of it.”
In partnership with the Future Focus Foundation, a charitable organisation founded by technology company T4G Limited, Portage Atlantic raised $60,000 in cash and in kind donations for the project over the past three years to make the trail possible. Fredericton and Saint John Sport Chek stores donated fifteen mountain bikes and helmets as well as twelve sets of snowshoes. A donation by the UPS Foundation allowed for the purchase of canoes and camping supplies. Benches donated by the RCMP Foundation can be found along the trail in rest areas. Financial support was also received from relay teams and other organisations including UTC of Saint John and The Forzani Group.
The youth in rehabilitation treatment have been helping to prepare the trail, clearing land and digging drainage ditches. “They have taken great pride in contributing to this project, and in knowing that the kids that follow them will be able to benefit from their hard work as well,” stated Geordie Gould, Director of Portage Atlantic.