Over the last two years, the relay has helped Portage raise $42,000 for the recovery trail, but another $18,000 is needed to complete the project. Construction on the trail has already begun, Desjardins said. It includes extending an existing 3.8 kilometres of trail, building a boardwalk down to a boathouse at Cassidy Lake and the construction of a cabin in the woods that can be used for group sessions.
“We can send a small group out there to talk with a counsellor without any type of disturbance,” Desjardins said, “It’s a calm atmosphere, with no stress, which our residents need.”
Residents will also use the trail for mountain biking and snowshoeing, Desjardins said. “For most of our residents it’s an experience they’ve never had, or one they’ve never had sober,” he said.