The Nature League of Collingwood has made a donation to the Beautiful Joe Heritage Society in Meaford.
On Dec. 1, the league presented the society with a cheque for $3,000 to go towards the society’s plans to build a pedestrian bridge to link Beautiful Joe Park with an adjacent park across the Bighead River in Meaford.
The league raised the money at the recent Fall Fling event held in October at the Collingwood Legion.
Beautiful Joe Park is named after the mutt that appeared in the world-famous novel by Margaret Marshall Saunders titled: Beautiful Joe. The heritage society would like to connect the park with adjacent Legion Park with a pedestrian bridge. The current entrance into the park is a steep hill and parking is limited. The pedestrian bridge would make the park significantly more accessible.
“I was in Beautiful Joe Park and struck up a conversation with a handful of hikers in the parking lot and as sometimes happens, the next thing they knew, they were on a tour of the park that celebrates the animal/human bond. A few months later, an email arrived requesting an organized tour for Nature League hikers,” said Sharon Mansion, vice chair of the society, in an email. “As we ventured through the park their interest grew and when we reached the point beside the Bighead River at the future bridge site, Jane Bramwell, president at the time, announced that the Nature League would like to help make that bridge happen by hosting a fundraiser for us.”
The society has a goal of raising $130,000 for the project and has already exceeded $54,000.
“We just started last year. We’re doing quite well,” said Lynda Stephens, chair of the organization.