April 23rd, 2024

LINK pathway focus of SACPA talk

By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on March 19, 2024.

Herald photo by Steffanie Costigan Link Pathway Society chairman Henry Doeve speaks about the pathway project planned to link Coaldale and Lethbridge, during last week's SACPA session.

Members of the LINK Regional Pathway Society spoke to the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs on Thursday about the bike path from Coaldale to Lethbridge that is being developed.

Construction on the first phase of the pathway started at Coaldale to Highway 512 in the fall of 2023.

Currently $2 million has been raised for the bike path project and when completed the project will cost more than $5 million.

Guest speakers at SACPA were Henry Doeve, chairman of the Link Pathway Society, and Alvin Fritz, principal architect at Alvin Reinhard Fritz Architect Inc.

Doeve shared the health benefits of creating the path from Coaldale to Lethbridge.

“Being able to be part of this new whole new active transportation trend, or just everyone’s more aware of their health and well-being.

“This LINK pathway fits perfectly into that process where there’s just more opportunities for people to use, walking, riding, rollerblading, whatever it is on, on a pathway that would connect Lethbridge to Coaldale,” said Doeve.

Fritz noted last year in June, the Town of Coaldale gifted a cheque of $100,000 to go towards the new pathway.

“This whole concept of getting out into nature actually has a physical reaction on our bodies, since a lot of people are not really worried. But when you’re getting your hands on the plants, and you’re looking at the outdoors,” he said.

“There’s an endocrine secretion change in your body, anything that affects your blood chemistry through the hypothalamus… your blood chemistry changes just by being outdoors,” said Fritz.

He said the pathway will also provide more tourism opportunities and will be a safe alternative to riding or walking along highways in Lethbridge County.

Fritz described the safe experiences cyclist and joggers will have on the pathway.

“The pathway makes it possible for you to walk, bike or rollerblade between these two urban communities along the SMRID irrigation canal, enjoying the rural landscape. In between trail users will find facilities such as benches, interpretive signs, picnic shelters along the way,” he said.

“If you were a walker, a jogger, a cyclist, or simply someone who loves nothing more than getting outside in the beauty of nature, maybe you want to improve your endocrine secretions. The LINK pathway is for everyone. It’s a natural recreational corridor. The LINK pathway will offer a natural recreational corridor for people of all ages and abilities.”

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This pathway is going to become an iconic feature for our region. We are as excited for this to be completed as young kids can be for unwrapping gifts. A huge THANK YOU for all involved in the idea and realization of this project.

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