In November 2012, the Ogden council had recommended the adoption of new zoning rules, specifically addressed towards the Tomifobia Nature Trail. Those new rules had a number of unacceptable consequences. Among others, they would have forced us to reduce the trail width to 2.5 metres, and forbid all picnic tables, benches and the teepee along the trail. The new rule would have effectively forbid us from completing the resurfacing work that was started and that was funded by a grant from the MRC.
Sentiers Massawippi had responded to the municipality’s concerns, and explained its point of view in a calm and rational fashion. However, our position had been completely ignored by the municipality.
Fortunately the legal harassment is now over. The council recently modified its rules and re-established more flexible rules that allows us to maintain the width at 3 meter wide which is recommended for the safety of bikers and pedestrians who share the trail.
Heavy rain in April 2011 caused a major flood of the Tomifobia river, and caused severe erosion of the river bank at km. 10.2 . A major stabilization work was undertaken, under the supervision of Harry Isbrucker, with the help of our summer student Alex Old.
In November 2011 , after a 3 and a half year saga, Harry Isbrucker, Ron Keymer, and François Ouellette have finished the monument site, with the installation of two historical interpretation panels, commemorating the 1895 railway accident. The project began in the spring of 2008, when we received a grant from the Memphrémagog MRC, via the Stanstead Historical Society. A little later, Harry Isbrucker met with Mary-Lou Lovering, granddaughter of the locomotive engineer who lost his life in this terrible accident that took place on what is now the Tomifobia Nature Trail. She kindly gave us the original photos that can be seen on the panels, while the texts have been written by Pierre Rastoul, archivist and director of the Colby Curtis Museum in Stanstead. Many thanks to Harry Isbrucker who spent so many hours on that project!
François Ouellette and Ron Keymer posing with one of the panels
Ray Banham, workmaster, does the final inspection before reopening the bridge to traffic.
During the summer and fall of 2010, volunteers from the board proceeded to repair two of the bridges on the Tomifobia river, near km. 5 and 8. The addition of metal plates on each side made the structure much safer, so we could remove the old wooden guards rails.
Ron Keymer proudly poses in front of the tipi.
Volunteers from the board of Sentiers Massawippi have all helped in construction of a tipi during the summer of 2010. We invite everyone to come and take a look at this original rest area, near km. 16.