Trail honouring late mayor of North Dundas opens today

A trail leading back into the woods behind The Ninth schoolhouse. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — The ribbon will be cut late this afternoon on a public forest named in honour of a former mayor of North Dundas.

Officials will gather from South Nation Conservation (SNC) and the United Counties of SDG at the unveiling of the Alvin Runnalls Forest behind the old Ninth schoolhouse located at 1919 County Rd. 7, just north of Chesterville. Members of Runnalls’ family will also take part.

The bush property in question is owned by the United Counties and managed by SNC.

Runnalls was a farmer, beekeeper and active member of the agricultural community who lived not far away from the site. He served four terms on North Dundas Council, the latter two as mayor between 2003 and 2010, which included a stint as Warden of the United Counties.

His 2016 death in a tree-felling accident, at age 76, shocked the community.

The public ceremonies begin today at 3 p.m. Participants will have a chance to tour the property as part of the event, running until 4 p.m.

SNC oversees a number of wild properties and natural areas named in honour of local families or individuals.