Open letter to Whitehorse mayor and council:
I attended Tuesday’s city council meeting prepared to speak of my objection to the possibility that motorized vehicles would be allowed access to parts of the Millennium Trail, including, and especially, the Rotary Centennial Bridge.
I was pleased and impressed by the intelligent and impassioned presentations offered by all but one of the speakers, voicing their discomfort with the possibility. I give credit to the young man who supported the allowance. It took courage. With nearly 90 minutes of offerings, I felt that my comments were not going to add much more weight.
In spite of councillor Stockdale’s comment that the issue was a “no brainer,” leaving the impression that he would not vote in favour of the change, and that I find it incomprehensible that the motion could get the nod, I feel obliged to offer my comments.
The Millennium Trail is truly one of the many physical and spiritual pulses of our community. It is a heartbeat unto itself. Physical in the sense that it is an easy avenue for so many to engage in the two of the primary features that add vitality and strength to the human animal, namely breathing and walking.
Bringing breathing and walking together with purpose, motivation and consistency in an “out of the box” environment can only do good for each individual, but is also good for the world. We are all “in this together” and we are all contributing to the way humanity appears, behaves and impacts the world that we live in. Better to be in touch with and aware of the nature of Nature than add impairments.
Spiritual in the sense that the Millennium Trail offers a safe and inviting way for people to come together outside of familiar and often habitual non-active ways of being. People generally think and speak differently, relative to their environment. Good words and good thoughts happen on that avenue of integration. People coming together as a family or as friends, or as individuals on the trail, get a stronger sense of community and connection.
While I can appreciate that snowmobiles, ATVs and dirt bikes have an appeal to many, their presence on the trail with its relatively uncluttered environment would only prove disruptive in a negative sense. The noise and physical imposition could easily be termed “the new tobacco” by those who follow a sustainable and conscious path, or at least those moving in that direction.
The energy of the Millennium Trail is a gem that serves us well at many levels. Physically, mentally (as in it is an easy path for one to “take their thoughts for a walk”) and spiritually, because of it being such a conduit for intrapersonal engagement.
Humans are social, spiritual and kinetic animals. The Millennium Trail, as well as all the other city-supported recreational facilities, nourish all of those aspects.