David Schilg, with MEC, gives a bike demonstration outside of the sports store Saturday as part of Okanagan Rail Trail ambassadors celebration of a recent $45,000 donation. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Much to be done before Okanagan Rail Trail completion

The OKIB still has not started construction on its section of trail

Okanagan Rail Trail ambassador Brad Clement is excited the rail trail is coming together, but much has to be done before the trail’s official opening.

There are three things that still need to happen for the trail to open; it must be fully funded, work must be completed between the partners and the Agricultural Land Commission to ensure there’s no conflict between the trail and agricultural land, and the process of transferring the CN rail land from the federal government to the Okanagan Indian Band must be completed, said Clement.

He isn’t concerned the Okanagan Indian Band has not yet started construction on its section of land. The CN rail is in the middle of being transferred from the federal government to the band, so work will begin once the transfer is completed.

“The original plan actually was to build no trail until everything is in place, so the alternative is to have no section open… at least now we have some amazing areas of trail.”

Clement has been with the project for the last five years.

“It’s been a fantastic, long ride.”

Kelowna’s section of trail from Dilworth Drive to the airport is expected to be open in September. Lake Country’s trail opening has not yet been determined.

“There are some 80 properties that are in the ALC along the trail, mainly in Lake Country and Kelowna… so ALC needs to work with the farmers to minimize the conflict between trail users and agriculture production,” said Clement.

Dogs will be allowed on the trail as long as they remain on a leash. Horses will not be allowed.

Research suggests other users will not use the trail because not everyone is comfortable with horses in an urban setting, said Clement.

“I can’t go around them, I’m highly allergic,” he said.

The rail trail has only $150,000 left before it is fully funded. MEC recently donated $45,000 to the trail and a sidewalk party was held Saturday at the store’s location in Kelowna.

Wade Janzen, sustainability and investment coordinator with MEC, said the donation came from avid biking staff who pushed the idea. “This community is so active, and there’s such a community force around it we wanted to be a part of it.”

The $45,000 will go towards retrofitting the bridge between Kalamalka and Wood Lakes.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Carrot Mountain fire fans smoke over West Kelowna

A cluster of three fires are burning above West Kelowna

Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Two fires caused by lightning at Big White last night

The fires are currently being contained

Three fires sparked in Peachland overnight

BC Wildfire working on scene

UPDATED: Prepare for Highway 97 to close again due to wildfire

Motorists may use an alternate route via Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3

Neighbours jump into action after grass fire ignites 10 feet from Kelowna home

Multiple fire halls responded to a grass fire on the 800 block of Mount Royal Drive.

Update: Summerland wildfire forces PIB state of emergency

More than 40 firefighters are on scene of the wildfire near Mount Conkle, just outside of Summerland.

Hockey trip fraudster receives house arrest

Man duped 16 families with Okanagan Elite Hockey Association out of over $100,000

Four wild fires still burning near Keremeos

One fire was extinguished and another reported after lightning came through area

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Installers to battle Team B.C.

Exhibition men’s fastball Saturday in Vernon

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Most Read