Co-operation and good work does get noticed.
The Shuswap Trail Alliance has worked for years on building a regional trail network second to none. The volunteer efforts have boosted visits to places like Enderby Cliffs along with local economies. And now the province is recognizing the group’s tireless efforts.
Last week, B.C.’s Environment Minister Mary Polak honoured the Shuswap Trail Alliance by naming it the BC Parks’ volunteer group of the year.
“The incredible amount of time and energy you have invested in parks in the Shuswap and North Okanagan over the past seven years shows your remarkable commitment to BC Parks,” Polak stated in a letter to the group.
The group received the attention after being nominated for the award by North Okanagan and Shuswap BC Parks area supervisors Kevin Wilson and Wes DeArmond.
Together they cite an impressive list of projects throughout the region, which both Wilson and DeArmond say would not have been possible without the work of alliance volunteers and their partners.
For example the plotting, mapping, and development of new snowshoe trails involved the Larch Hills Nordic Society, Thompson Rivers University, Services Canada’s job creation program, Skookum Cycle and Ski, and Atlas Snowshoes.
Similarly, the Routes and Blues and Bigfoot Snowshoe interpretive trail program was in partnership with the Roots and Blues Festival, Adams River Salmon Society, Salmon Arm Bay Nature Society, Shuswap Tourism, CSRD Parks and the Shuswap Community Foundation.
“It takes a moment like this to step back and realize just how much good work is being done by so many people,” said Phil McIntyre-Paul Shuswap Trail Alliance co-ordinator.
The province’s recent accolades have done nothing to slow down the trail network project as McIntyre-Paul took the moment in the spotlight to highlight future plans.
Just a few of the projects planned for this fall include new work on the Eagle River Nature Trail boardwalk, improvement to the Herald Park/Reinecker Trail connection and a third season of the winter Bigfoot Snowshoe interpretive walks.
“Keep your fingers crossed for another great snowy winter trail season ahead,” smiles McIntyre-Paul, adding, as always, a pitch for help.
“We can always welcome more volunteers.”
Interested volunteers can sign on to the Shuswap Trail Alliance ebulletin network by sending a note to email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org or join one of the partner organizations.