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Kootenay trails get boost from Columbia Basin Trust

Over $1 million to trails projects, job creation
The Kimberley Nordic Club will utilize funding from Columbia Basin Trust to purchase a new wood-chipper to create mulch for their trail systems, while also hiring three new people to their team. KNC photo.

Recreational trail projects and the organizations that build and maintain trails in communities all over the Kootenays are getting a substantial boost from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).

A total $630,275 will go towards supporting 23 projects in 18 communities, including Kimberley, Cranbrook, Nelson, Fernie to name just a few. CBT has allocated a further $401,897 to go towards creating 42 trail crew jobs in 14 communities.

“These programs offer a two-pronged approach to growing and upkeeping the trails that are so important to residents, visitors and community well-being,” said CBT’s manager of Delivery of Benefits, Justine Cohen.

“Organizations can tackle their priorities when it comes to making their trail systems the best they can be. Many are also adding to their workforce to accomplish their tasks.”

The Kimberley Nordic Club, for example, are getting $3,525 to purchase a wood chipper they’ll use to create mulch for cross-country ski trails. They’ll also receive $18,442 to create three new jobs.

“Exceptional, quality trails are what bring people to the Kimberley Nordic Club,” said Daniel Childress, KNC General Manager. “A paid trail crew will alleviate the pressure on our local volunteers and allow us to complete a wide variety of summer trail-maintenance tasks, and the crew will gain meaningful experience as skilled labourers.”

Additionally, the Kimberley Trails Society will receive $32,154 to create three jobs.

The Nelson Cycling Club’s project focused on revitalizing half a kilometre of their Left and Blues trails will get $20,500, improving accessibility and mitigating environmental impacts, plus a further $31,548 to create three new positions.

“Inclusive shared spaces are essential to all communities,” said program manager Wendy Lewis.

“The Nelson Cycling Club aims to continue breaking down barriers for mountain bikers and increasing the diversity of trail experiences. The completion of a high-quality, adaptive-friendly mountain bike loop fills an important gap in our trail system.”

Nelson’s Nordic Ski Club is also getting funding — $11,500 to install signboards at its new entrance, while the South Selkirks Backcountry Association will receive $7,500 to rehabilitate two and a half kilometres of trail and install signage along the West Kokanee Loop.

The Fernie Trail Alliance Association will get $55,000, one of the largest contributions on the list, to extend Trail Dogs trail by two kilometres, adding signs and making it connect to the Forest Service Road. They will receive a further $37,171 to create two new jobs.

This will allow us to attract new visitors to our community to ride this type of trail,” said Melanie Wrigglesworth, Executive Director. “It will allow our local community an opportunity to have this type of trail in their backyard.”

You can see a full list of project funding here and all new jobs created here.

About the Author: Paul Rodgers

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