The newest addition to Chatham-Kent’s trail system -  Rotary Eco Trail in the O'Neill

Nature Preserve was officially opened. The Thornhill Park ceremony at 114 Thornhill Crescent in Chatham saw the cutting of the ribbon at the trail head . Two Rotary Club of Chatham members did the deed - Environment Committee Chair Barry Fraser (L) and Councilman Doug Sulman, who also represented the Municipality. Joining them was a vital member of the effort, the Manager of Parks, Cemetaries and Horticulture Tom Beaton (R).


Also on hand were Kathryn Kielstra of C-K, Bronwen Buck of the Carolinian Canada Coalition, resident neighbours of the Nature Preserve, walkers, Rotary members, and the Press. Following the official duties, Randall Van Wagner with the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, who has been invaluable in cataloging the Preserve, led an interpretive tour of the attendees and their families.

This granular surface trail forms an 880 metre loop through the O’Neill Nature Preserve, formerly Paxton’s Bush.  Building the trail has been the result of a collaborative effort between the Rotary Club of Chatham, Carolinian Canada Coalition, and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.


The trail will be developed as an “EcoTrail.” It is an interpretive trail with a difference. Hiking and biking are good for you and the environment, but this trail will go the extra mile to help nature as well. Features along the trail will inspire users to learn more about nature in their own backyard, and to make a difference in the environment where they live, work and play.