The fundraising for the Okanagan Rail Trail has surpassed another milestone.
The BC government has provided $500,000 from its Rural Dividend Fund, the largest single donation so far.
The campaign total has reached $3,176,170 since it 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.”
Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster says the Rail Trail is a good fit with the Rural Dividend Fund that is intended to support economic development in rural communities.
“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 government 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.
More information on the trail route, construction stages, and how the community can be involved is available on: www.okanaganrailtrail.ca.
Progress as of March 13, 2017:
16.65 km funded (over 40% of 48.5 km funding goal)
Current Target: Trail Construction Stage 3 – $1,500,000 for Intersection Control – systems to control all trail/road intersections; 11% funded
FUNDED: $500,000 for Stage 1 Design & Environmental – design build plan for trail and environment analysis and permitting.
FUNDED: $2,000,000 FOR Stage 2 Access Control / Rock Scaling – includes barriers controlling access, permitting and work to ensure bridges, walls and cliffs along trail are safe and tests of design costs
The trail is not yet developed. The corridor section within the City of Kelowna is closed pending future development. The corridor sections within the North Okanagan and Lake Country are posted as an undeveloped and unmaintained area to use at own risk.
$7.86 million – estimated cost to construct the first phase of the trail
(a continuous compacted crushed aggregate trail 4.6 m wide along the corridor with way-finding signage, access control and road crossing upgrades).
Spring 2017 – 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 km – total distance of lakefront, creeks, including sensitive environmental and habitat areas.