Walking trails connect people to recreation, services and each other in a healthy, active way. Fresh air is nice too.
The ministry and its maintenance contractors have been building these connections over the last few months by volunteering their time, equipment and materials for 10 projects that support community trails. These, and 18 other projects, are enhancing life in B.C. communities.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and feel good about making a difference. Sharing your time doesn’t have to just be a holiday occasion. All year round, working with local organizations or just taking the initiative to show your volunteer spirit can have a big impact on people. Whether it’s helping with an organization like Big Brothers and Sisters, an after school program, a local food bank, an animal shelter or working with local maintenance contractors to create a trail in Powell River like we did, providing your time can change lives, yours and those in the community.
For example, in Powell River, the Yaroshuk Trail was restored by the ministry, Capilano Highway Services and community volunteers. The 570-metre trail begins at Nootka Street, skirts Nootka Dunes Golf Course and connects with an extensive trail system at Penticton Street. The new trail is especially good for seniors, cyclists and families with children, as it’s flatter than the hilly paths beyond.
The community has used words like “overjoyed” in response to the work accomplished by the ministry, contractor and “the big machines”. “We have our beautiful Penticton Street trail system back and now everyone from this side can access it easily,” Nootka Street resident Patricia Beardmore told Powell River Peak Editor Laura Walz. “It would have been tough doing it all on our own.”
In Fraser Lake, a 450-metre trail was built from the community’s visitor information kiosk to the pedestrian crossing across Highway 16. The ministry and Yellowhead Road and Bridge (Vanderhoof) also improved a second trail of 100 metres from a seniors’ residence and linked it to the new trail. Now the elderly, and other residents, have a safe stroll to the village centre.
Eight more tales of trail volunteer projects…
Penticton – Argo Road Maintenance and the ministry removed the need to “limbo” for people who use the popular pathway that goes under Eckhardt Avenue Bridge on Highway 97. Previously there was only five feet between the pathway that follows the Okanagan River Channel and the bridge overhead. Ministry and contractor staff excavated three feet into the earthen pathway creating eight feet of clearance – no more limbo. They also widened the walkway to four feet.
Cranbrook – Mainroad East Kootenay and the ministry built and landscaped a new parking area alongside NorthStar Trail, the new 25-kilometre trail from Cranbrook to Kimberly. The parking area was built on Wycliffe Park Road and guide signage was manufactured and installed. Concrete barriers were placed between the trail and the parking area to protect the path (and its users) from motorized vehicles.
Granisle – Lakes District Maintenance crew and ministry staff cleared brush along some of Granisle’s popular walking and cross-country skiing trails. This supports the village’s efforts to beautify the community and attract tourism.
Hornby Island - Emcon Services Inc. and the ministry, in co-operation with BC Parks and the Hornby Island Trails Committee, constructed a 300-square metre parking lot at the head of the main trail on Hornby Island, which can accommodate 10 vehicles. There’s now a safe place to park for people who want to trek the island’s extensive trail system.
Greenwood – Emcon Services and the ministry provided assistance and expertise to the City of Greenwood to remove the deteriorating Louisa Street log bridge and assemble and install a new bridge leading to the Trans Canada trail system and the city’s maintenance yard. Most of the materials for the new bridge were provided by the city, while the ministry provided the rest of the supplies for the bridge’s construction and installation.
Golden and Revelstoke – HMC Services Inc. and the ministry improved parking areas and trail access at the Revelstoke Nordic Club and the Golden Nordic Club. Cross-country skiers now find it easier to reach the more than 52 kilometres of groomed trails the clubs have all together.
Terrace – Nechako Northcoast Construction and the ministry fixed up a pullout on Highway 16 west of Terrace making it a welcoming stop for travellers who need a break. The crews cleared brush to open up the view to the Skeena River; tidied the area; installed picnic tables, garbage facilities and a new guardrail; and built a trail to another scenic lookout.
Bear Lake – Yellowhead Road and Bridge (Fort George) upgraded the grounds surrounding the community’s hall. Work included upgrading an entrance path, laying a gravel base for a community gazebo and upgrading and improving the parking areas. The community told us this would make accessing the hall easier and more appealing.
Together with our contractors, we’re creating community connections.