“The value of this website,” said Serge Joly, spokesman for the Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail Corporation (PRRT), “is that it will inform the people of Prescott-Russell, especially those who have never used the trail before.”
Prior to creation of its own website for the PR Trail, the non-profit group depended on a link on the United Counties of Prescott-Russell website (UCPR) for providing information on the trail. The UCPR has a lease agreement with VIA Trail for use of the former railway route as a recreational trail site.
The PRRT Corp. has since received a $20,000 grant from Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) through the Fonds d’aide et de relance pour enterprises et organisms de Sud Ontario (FAREOSO) program. The program, sponsored through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev) supports francophone non-profit businesses and groups and the grant allows the creation of the PPRT’s own website to inform residents and visitors about the trail and help promote use of the trail and special events related to the PR Trail.
Joly noted that the website will also help promote “a sense of ownership” among residents of Prescott-Russell about the trail, its benefits for local recreation and physical health, its value for the tourism economy, and its role in promoting awareness and appreciation of the region’s natural heritage. Last year, based on statistics gathered through a monitoring program, more than 56,000 people used the PR Trail from January to the end of November.
The website also includes a new Friends of the Trail project to help recruit new volunteers to oversee the trail and promote it through activities and public awareness events.
The new PR Trail website is at www.sentierprtrail.com, with links to the trail’s Facebook and Instagram pages.