A Trail of Success: Meadowlark Trail Receives Development Permit Approval

On February 24, 2021, B&A Planning Group (B&A), in partnership with Alberta TrailNet and the Meadowlark Trail Society, Navagrah Landscape Architecture, and Sedulous Engineering successfully obtained a Development Permit (DP) approval that will lead to the construction of the Meadowlark Trail, a missing link in the world’s longest recreational trail, The Great Trail. This approval will allow for the development of an abandoned railway line into a 7.5-kilometre, non-motorized trail between the Town of Irricana and the Village of Beiseker, connecting the two communities while supporting the overall Great Trail vision of linking Canada and Canadians.

This decision comes two and a half years after the project team received unanimous Council approval for the land use redesignation for Meadowlark Trail, proving to be an overall successful venture for B&A, Alberta TrailNet Society, and the Meadowlark Trail Society.

“It has been a pleasure working with Alberta TrailNet Society, Meadowlark Trail Society, Navagrah Landscape Architecture, and Sedulous Engineering to obtain the necessary approvals to see Meadowlark Trail become a reality,” says Nancy Sanborn, Senior Planner, B&A Planning Group. “We look forward to seeing the trail constructed – supporting community connectivity in Alberta and across Canada.”

Meadowlark Trail required two development permits; the first DP was approved in September 2019 to install two pedestrian bridges and a culvert along the trail. The second development permit (approved on February 23, 2021) provided the details for trail construction, landscaping, road crossings, signage, and related trail facilities and amenities for the Meadowlark Trail. Set to provide a safe and affordable connection between the two communities for people who walk, run and bike, Meadowlark Trail will provide the missing link in a national network of more than 27,000 kilometres of multi-use trails.

Having seen previous success with land use approval, B&A’s multi-disciplinary team worked to ensure the development permit followed suit. Through Alberta TrailNet Society and the Meadowlark Trail Society’s community engagement and advocacy work, 26 letters from nearby landowners were submitted in support of the application.

The approval of this development permit will allow Meadowlark Trail to complete the vision set out for this section of the Great Trail, promoting exercise, nature, and agricultural education and improving access to recreation for residents in the area.

Images courtesy of the Meadowlark Trail Society – www.meadowlarktrail.ca