A new bridge between Sarnia and Bright’s Grove on the Howard Watson Nature Trail will be named for a teacher, coach and avid local cyclist.
Ron Yorke died of cancer in December, at the age of 71.
“He was a very nice, easygoing person,” recalled John Deveer, a Bluewater Trails member.
“He biked everywhere and really healthy. For him to succumb to cancer was really unbelievable.”
Yorke will be remembered with a plaque unveiled on a boulder at the Cull Drain Bridge, just east of Macklin’s, on Monday, June 29, at 3 p.m.
A rickety span across the former railway trestle has been replaced with wider planking, fencing and a paved asphalt approach. The bridge at Cow Creek in Bright’s Grove was also widened.
Yorke was a high school teacher for 32 years who retired from SCITS. He was also an Optimist Club president and hockey and soccer coach who quietly worked behind the scenes improving recreational opportunities as chairperson of Bluewater Trails.
He was, for example, instrumental in improving the trail between the Blue Water Bridge and LaSalle Road, connecting Sarnia to the St. Clair River Trail, and founded Sarnia Bike Month activities and Bike Friendly Lambton.
“Mr. Yorke touched the lives of many people and was a true champion for the community,” said Bluewater Trail chair Jared Fedora.
A series of recent local trail improvements are part of a larger initiative attempting to link trails across Ontario and beyond, said club member Gloria Dawe.
“This is part of the bigger trail connection, so that people can get on a bicycle, and keep on going on a bicycle.”