Better, brighter: NCC celebrates completed work at Luskville Falls

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Kate Aley

Members of the National Capital Commission (NCC), the Municipality of Pontiac (MoP) and the local community gathered on Nov. 15 to acknowledge the completion of renovations to the Luskville Falls trails and picnic area.

Above, speaker Patsy Lusk with Dr. Mark Kristmanson, CEO of the NCC (left) and Roger Larose, mayor of the Municipality of Pontiac

A number of projects were officially inaugurated, representing a total investment of $1.2 million by the NCC. The restoration and improvements to the access to rock climbing sites on the Eardley Escarpment cost $537,000. Work on the equestrian trail that follows the base of the escarpment as well as the construction of a metal and wood bridge over Chartrand Creek cost $276,000. Extensive rehabilitation of the Luskville Falls Trail, parking lot and interpretive panels cost $260,000. A slope at the Church Hill Picnic Area on Eardley - Masham Road was also stabilized, costing $190,000.

Chief Executive Officer for the NCC, Dr. Mark Kristmanson (above), thanked the assembled visitors, which included three members of the Pontiac Equestrian Association and their steeds.

“This represents a big investment in the park,” said the mayor of MoP, Roger Larose, addressing the crowd. “I am very pleased to celebrate the history of the Lusk family who have given their name to this area.”

Patsy Lusk (above) spoke next, thanking the MoP and the NCC for the new interpretive panel on the history of the Lusk family, which will be displayed at the Town Hall.

Also attending the event were Debbie Lusk, Linda Lusk and Bonnie Lusk. They recalled climbing the falls as students and being able to identify the various homes and farms of the people they knew.

From left, Debbie, Pat, Linda and Bonnie Lusk with the plaque recognizing the family's historic link to the area.

According to an NCC press release, the most recent Status Report on Gatineau Park Ecosystems concluded that most of the key ecological zones are in good health—an important achievement, given the increasing pressures of urbanization in areas surrounding the Park and the intensity of visitor use within the Park. The NCC’s ongoing priority is to maintain upkeep throughout Gatineau Park, particularly working of definition the official trails. “Our colleagues [at the NCC], the biologists, the directors, they all had a hand in this,” commented communications officer Jasmine Leduc. “They are proud to be part of this; we are really happy to work with and share this with the community.”