John R Park Homestead Heritage Centre

Holiday Beach Conservation Area – Trail Project

JRPH Heritage CentreThe Essex Region Conservation Foundation is undertaking an ambitious campaign to raise funds to build a modern, environmentally friendly Heritage Centre with educational and exhibit space, accessible and adequate washroom facilities, and a significantly enhanced visitor and student facility. This new cultural space will improve the overall education experience, create a tourism gateway and important resting/washroom facilities to complement the region’s growing cycling infrastructure.

Project goals and objectives:

We need your help to ensure that these important elements of our history are preserved, and that we may continue to tell stories and provide authentic experiences for generations to come.
We are off to a great start – with a $600,000 Government of Canada’s Canadian Experiences Fund grant to create the John R. Park Homestead Heritage Centre.  Together, we are hoping to match this grant for a total of $1.2 million by December 2020.


Holiday Beach Conservation Area Trail Project

Holiday Beach Conservation Area – Trail Project

mountain bikingThe Essex Region Conservation Authority is grateful to the Amherstburg Community Foundation for their commitment to supporting the creation of a new single track cycling/walking trail adjacent to Holiday Beach Conservation Area. The first step in this proposal included bringing together members the single-track/off road biking community in to engage them discussions on creating, planning, designing and ultimately helping to construct and maintain the facility. The trail and site features are expected to evolve and change over time with the ongoing support from trail users. The new cycling facility provides an additional tourist attraction in Amherstburg, enhancing Holiday Beach as a destination along County Road 50, which is part of the County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS). Many of these cyclists would likely continue along the CWATS trails to Explore the Shore, enjoy local wineries, bed and breakfasts, and other attractions en route.

A constructed wetland will provide significant habitat values, improve water quality and help to combat climate change, and the excavated materials used to create topography along the trail, which traverses through diverse landscapes and interesting features.

Project goals and objectives:

Public interest in cycling as a form of recreation and healthy living is continuing to grow. Investments in cycling infrastructure in the Essex Region have exploded in the past few years. The Holiday Beach Trail proposal has a value-added proposition which includes environmental restorations and enhancements. In a region where merely 8.5% of our land base is in a natural state, while 12% is declared the minimum standard for sustainability, the importance of wetland creation and greening efforts included in this proposal are important to improve habitat values in our region, expand natural areas coverage, improve air and water quality and combat climate change by meeting the following goals and objectives:

  • Create an off-road, single track cycling facility adjacent to Holiday Beach Conservation Area in Amherstburg.
  • Create a restored wetland to enhance water quality, combat flooding and climate change, and improve water quality.
  • Undertake greening and restoration along the trail.

The first outreach meeting for this trail took place on September 19, with great interest and excitement from cyclists. Preliminary siting of the route indicates that up to 10 km of cycling trail could be creating with interesting turns and topography. The Amherstburg Community Foundation continues to raise funds for this exciting project. To donate to this project, please visit: