Rail Trail Gets Huge Donation
Okanagan Rail Trail Ambassadors say with continued community support, this can be the year to finish the trail.
The year has started off strong with the largest single donation yet, a $500,000 grant from the provincial Rural Dividend Fund to the Community Futures North Okanagan. This substantial donation will be used to create safe trail/road crossings in the North Okanagan and Lake Country, and to build 'test sections' to determine the most appropriate and economical means for constructing the remainder of trail and encourage local construction companies to get involved.
"The Okanagan Rail Trail is a good fit with our Rural Dividend Fund that is intended to support economic development in rural communities.", says Eric Foster MLA. "In the North Okanagan and Lake Country, communities and entrepreneurs are preparing to benefit from the tourism and jobs that the trail will bring when fully constructed".
The Rural Dividend grant brings to $3,176,170 the total raised since the campaign began last May, almost halfway to the original target of $7.85 million.
"This will be the biggest year yet," says Brad Clements, a Trail Ambassador who has been working towards this legacy since 2013, when CN first announced that the corridor would be abandoned. "Trail construction activities will be proceeding, and there will be a final push to complete fundraising so that the trail can be finished and open by 2018."
"This is the year to step forward if you want to see the trail open and safe for use, and to be part of this amazing legacy", says Laurie Postill, North Okanagan Trail Ambassador. "Businesses, clubs and organizations can get involved by signing up as Business Partners and Campaign Partners to help with fundraising. Individuals and families have another year to donate, or add to their metres of trail already funded. Every donation takes us closer to completing this trail legacy."