May 6, 2016 - Update

The Trails Strategy Working Group (TSWG) would like to thank all trail stakeholders who reviewed the draft strategy and provided valuable feedback through the survey. The TSWG is grateful for the high level of engagement we received from across the province.

Responses were received from a good cross-section of our trails community: 41% from trails volunteers, 33% from interested citizens, 21% from staff at the community or provincial level.

Additionally, regional responses were fairly evenly spread across the province with 20% from the Central region, 15% from the South Shore, 14% from the Valley, 13% from Fundy, 11% from Cape Breton, 10% from Highland and 15% from those with a provincial role.

Close to half of the responses were from those involved with trails for more than 10 years and about a quarter of the responses coming from those who have been involved for the past five to 10 years.

The feedback on the Strategy that we received was generally very positive:

  • 93% either strongly agreed or agreed that the vision was on target
  • 92% either strongly agreed or agreed that the goal to strengthen provincial leadership, alignment and collaboration and the actions under it were on target
  • 96% either strongly agreed or agreed that the goal to improve the planning of trails and the actions under it were on target
  • 96% either strongly agreed or agreed that the goal to expand the supports for trail developers and managers and the actions under it were on target
  • 95% either strongly agreed or agreed that the goal to increase trail use and the actions under it were on target
  • 94% either strongly agreed or agreed that the suggested roles within the trails community were on target
  • 86% either strongly agreed or agreed that the strategy set the right course for advancing trails in Nova Scotia

In addition, the trails community has clearly asked us to make some important changes and provided us with specific ideas for how to do so, including:

  • ensuring that the vision and goals are feasible and reflect the desires of the entire trails community
  • clarify and elaborate on the benefits and public good that the strategy is intended to support
  • strengthening pieces related to funding, sustainability and volunteer support
  • focus more on youth engagement
  • expand on actions being taken to improve accessibility
  • and clarify that it's not the role of this strategy to direct decisions at the local and regional levels.

The TSWG met on April 2 and April 7 to incorporate feedback received from the survey and will be working toward sharing an improved draft with the trails community in the coming months. The TSWG will be approaching provincially-focused trail user groups to meet individually to attempt to address any interests/concerns. The draft strategy will also be edited to ensure the document speaks to the entire trails community using clear and concise language. We will continue to keep trail stakeholders informed as we work toward the development of an improved draft strategy.