Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society president Dave Denis accepts an award from BC Parks from Ryan Elphick. - Image: Alistair Waters

Myra trestle society recognized by the province

B.C. Parks award given to Kelowna volunteer society for restoring and maintaining historic trestles

The Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society has been recognized by B.C. Parks for its work.

On Wednesday in Kelowna, Ryan Elphick of B.C. Parks presented the 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award to The Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society. The award was announced in August by Environment Minister George Heyman.

The ceremony was originally slated to take place on Trestle 18 at Myra Canyon but the forecast of inclement weather changed the location of the award ceremony to the downtown Kelowna library.

Society president Denis Davis said the award means a lot to have the volunteers recognized for their hard work.

“Recognition of our group and volunteers by BC Parks headquarters in Victoria, is significant,” said Denis.

Since 1993, the society has been at the forefront of the initial restoration of the original trestles, in obtaining National Historic Site Status, in achieving provincial park status, and teamed with B.C. Parks to rebuild the trestles following the devastating 2003 wildfire.

Over the years the society has provided interpretive signage, maintained the trestles, tunnels and trails and added new shelters, benches and toilets. The society says none of that could have been possible without its dedicated volunteers, society members and financial supporters.

In 2003, many of the trestles were burned in the Okanagan Mountain Park fire and were rebuilt through huge volunteer effort.

The Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society is a non-profit registered society with an annual operating budget of approximately $30,000.

Its partner agreement with B.C. Parks is scheduled to carry through to 2024, with responsibilities for providing historic interpretation, trail maintenance, facility inspection, facility maintenance and facility construction in Myra Canyon.

The Myra Canyon trestles, tunnels and trail are visited by more than 70,000 people annually who come from around the world to experience this engineering wonder, the closeness with nature, historical significance and of course the spectacular views.

The trestles were originally part of the famed Kettle Valley Railway system.

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Dave Denis, president of the Myra Canyon Trestle Society. - Image: Alistair Waters

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