Anonymous resident opts to match donations to Okanagan Rail Trail

Trail that links Kelowna, Lake Country and Vernon raising money and one resident will match donations for 10 days in July

An anonymous donour has decided to match donations to the Okanagan Rail Trail for 10 days in July.

A patriotic donor wanting to celebrate Canada Day has offered to match donations to the Okanagan Rail Trail fundraising campaign that are received between July 1 and July 10 up to $50,000 dollars.

The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative (ORTI) says the donor, wishing not to receive any recognition for this action, wanted to encourage others to contribute to the construction of the trail.

“My donation will build just over 300 metres of trail and by working together, we can create over 600 metres. That’s a better part of kilometre,” the donor said through the ORTI which sent out a press release on the donor’s behalf.

Trail ambassador Brad Clements says it should give the fundraising campaign a good boost.

“Donations have been coming in every day and the support is fantastic,” said Clements. “If we want construction to start early next spring however we will need a lot more and this just might inspire that.”

To date the campaign has received 266 individual donations that equal just less than a kilometre of construction. The entire trail is close to 50 kilometres long.

Trail Ambassador Duane Thomson sees momentum building.

“In the last few weeks trail ambassadors have talked with over 30 businesses, clubs and service groups that are interested in becoming campaign partners and business partners,” said Thomson. “There are also 35 trail ambassadors getting ready to help spread the word this summer.”

The goal to raise $7.86 million is a lofty, yet achievable one, according to one trail ambassador.

“Campaigns of similar amounts have been raised in the Okanagan in the past and I believe our communities can rise to this occasion” said Laurie Postill. “If we all give what we can towards the trail and inspire our friends, family and co-workers to do the same, we can build our trail and enjoy this incredible property. Together we can create this legacy for our communities.”

To make a donation, visit okanaganrailtrail.ca or visit the North Okanagan Community Foundation or the Central Okanagan Foundation. Every $160 donated funds a meter of construction. The campaign is also looking for trail ambassadors, campaign partners and business partners to help inspire donations. For more information visit okanaganrailtrail.ca/get-involved.

Campaign Facts

•    937 meters funded

•    272 donors

•    Current Target – $500,000 for design and access control

•    % to Target – 30

•    35 Trail Ambassadors

•    7 Campaign Partners

•    7 Business Partners

Trail Facts

•    $22 million – purchase price of discontinued rail corridor.

•    $50 million – asking price.

•    $7.86 million – estimated cost to construct the first phase of the trail.

•    Spring 2017 – possible construction start date.

•    48.5 km – length of trail when completed (17.8 km in Kelowna, 2.3 km in Okanagan Indian Band, 16.3 km in Lake Country, 12.1 km in Regional District of North Okanagan).

•    24 kms – total distance of lakefront, creeks and truly unique natural habitats along the trail.

•    1.3 % – maximum grade of the trail.

•    212,000 – combined estimated population of communities along the trail.

•    588,000 – estimated number of annual uses by year five.

•    $6.7 – $8.7 million  – annual injection to our economy from the trail.

•    43 – number of cultural and recreational points of interest within 500 metres of the trail.

•    1 – number of international airports along the trail.