By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The Link Pathway Committee is $200,000 closer to their fundraising goal for the Link Bike Path which will provide a direct connection from Coaldale to the City of Lethbridge once completed.
The donation the McCain Foundation will support the construction and development of the project and will, “play a pivotal role in bringing this community-enhancing project to fruition,” reads a press release issued by the Link Pathway Committee on Aug. 3.
This comes after the March 2023 announcement that the global food leader would be investing $600 million into the expansion of the McCain Foods processing facility near Coaldale.
Henry Doeve, Link Pathway Committee Chair noted the accessibility of the pathway to users in the recent press release outlining the project is a recreation amenity that families can use at no cost, and said,”It is very exciting to see McCains investing in the communities where their families live, work and play.”
The pathway, which aims to promote active living and provide direct access through Lethbridge County, is also designed to boost tourism to the region with agri-tourism and facilities such as the Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale being marketed as must-sees for visitors and residents alike.
Once phases 1 and 2 are complete, the pathway will offer an accessible and safe cyclist and pedestrian route between Coaldale and Lethbridge, through Lethbridge County. Groundbreaking for Phase 1 of the multi-use recreational pathway took place in June 2023, beginning near Land O’ Lakes golf course in Coaldale toward the Jail Road (Highway 512). Future plans will see the installation of a pedestrian tunnel to cross the busy roadway, and continue to Lethbridge. Contingent on adequate funding, the Link Pathway Committee’s construction of the tunnel will begin as early as next year.
Doeve confirmed the Committee is hard at work to meet the financial goals for the project but said the process of acquiring funds takes time.
“Fundraising is ongoing; grant writing is ongoing, but these end-dates happen when they happen and so we just need to be patient and wait for that (funding).”
He said, “The announcement from the McCain Foundation of this magnitude definitely will help with our own fundraising efforts. It does legitimize the project for sure.”
The donation will be used to fund various elements of the project such as safety enhancements, community engagement initiatives, educational signage, and construction costs. Doeve told SSN, “what this donation does is ensure that we can start and complete phase 1 of the project.”
More information including updates on the Link Pathway project can be found at linkpathway.org or @linkpathway on Facebook and Instagram.