October 5, 2018
Councillor Aaron Paquette and Brent Collingwood, Executive Director, River Valley Alliance (RVA), officially opened the completed East End Trails Project in Edmonton’s northeast today. The project adds 16 kilometres of new asphalt and gravel trails to Edmonton’s river valley trail system and was funded in partnership with the City of Edmonton, River Valley Alliance, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.
“On behalf of City Council and Edmontonians, we thank our funding partners for this much-needed investment in our river valley,” said Councillor Paquette. “These trails provide the northeast with more access to recreation, mobility, and a chance to get outdoors to enjoy our beautiful city."
Construction of the $8.5 million East End Trails project began in fall 2016 and was completed on time and on budget in fall 2018. The project includes a primary asphalt trail on the north side of the river from Hermitage Park to 167 Avenue The trail on the south side of the river features a secondary gravel trail connecting the Clover Bar Area to the Anthony Henday pedestrian bridge crossing, recently constructed by the Government of Alberta.
"We’re thrilled to open another piece of the trail system for the public to access and enjoy the beautiful North Saskatchewan River Valley,” says RVA Executive Director Brent Collingwood. “The completion of this project gets us one step closer to the RVA’s vision of a connected, continuous river valley trail system that extends all the way from Devon to Fort Saskatchewan. The momentum towards trail connectivity is exciting, and with the support of municipal partners like the City of Edmonton and our provincial and federal supporters we’ll continue to move this forward.”
“The completion of these new trails is great news for Edmontonians,” said the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources. “The rich natural beauty of our city is one of its greatest treasures. It is something that, as Edmontonians, we take great joy in. I am proud that the Government of Canada is able to be a partner in helping more Edmontonians experience it.”
“Trails are about creating connections—not just to places, but connecting people to nature, to the city and to each other,” said Minister Shannon Phillips, Alberta Environment and Parks. “The East End Trails will provide northeast Edmontonians with year-round access to the beautiful river valley and helps connect them with wild spaces around them.”
River Valley Alliance Funding
In 2013, the City of Edmonton received $72.9 million in funding for five initiatives as part of the River Valley Alliance (RVA) Capital Project. Of this, the RVA contributed $48.6 million, and the City of Edmonton contributed $1.7 million. The remaining funding was granted from the provincial government through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, (MSI) program.
The RVA is a collaboration of the seven municipalities that border the North Saskatchewan River in the Edmonton Metropolitan region. The RVA’s goal is to create trail connectivity and access through a balanced approach of preserving, protecting and enhancing one of the largest metropolitan river valley park systems in the world for the year-round enjoyment of citizens and visitors.
In January 2013, the RVA launched a major $90 million Capital Project that includes 13 priority initiatives in 18 sites. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $30 million through the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component towards the RVA Capital Project. The Government of Alberta is also contributing $30 million through the Capital Region River Valley Park grant.