Feb. 07, 2017
February party continues to put Shuswap Trails on the map
The Shuswap, British Columbia - The Shuswap has done it again - kick starting another year of trails and building relationships and helping to get people outside, active, and on their feet - all with one great big party. And this year's annual bash raised a solid $37,000 to support it all with a big shout out to Canada’s 150th.
Now in its 12th year, the Shuswap Trail Alliance acts as the meeting point for regional partners to work together to design, sign, maintain, and promote greenway trails. It's a vision that has made the Shuswap a recognized trails destination in the province. It's also a forum for figuring out how to do things better together - like build more environmentally sustainable trails, share knowledge and resources, shape common signage and messaging, and more accountably acknowledge our place within Secwepemc Nation territory.
It all kicks off each year with a great big party and fundraiser supported by hundreds of individuals and businesses throughout the Shuswap. This year's event featured a reunion performance by the band, Scarecrow, along with EZ Rock DJ Patrick Ryley, and Brian Coffey's BC Sound, local catering by the Village West Urban Market with support from Wild Flight Farms, Farmcrest Foods, Askews, and Shuswap Tourism, and beverages sponsored by the Barley Station Brew Pub and Larch Hills Winery and served up right by Salmon Arm Fire Hall #3.
Decor colours picked up on the Canada 150 theme this year - with notable appearances by Salmon Arm Councillors Kevin Flynn and Tim Lavery in fetching red and white tights to sell 50/50 tickets - reported to sell in record numbers. Shuswap Events was on site live streaming the event to Facebook. And the Okanagan College Enactus group made sure everyone got home safely afterward - thanks to shuttle vehicles from Braby Motors, Hilltop Toyota, Jacobson Ford, and Ian Gray's GM.
"A huge thank you to all the people who were so generous donating and purchasing the silent auction items," said long-time volunteer and Shuswap Trail Alliance treasurer, Joan Mitchell. Over 120 sponsors contributed to the silent auction, including Waterways Houseboats, Twin Anchors Houseboats, Prestige Inn, Shuswap Millworks, Copper Island Homes, Center Point Automotive, BDO Dunwoody, and Skookum Cycle and Ski.
Funds from the event help to leverage grants, partner funds, and volunteer stewardship to produce significant results. In 2016 the Shuswap Trail Alliance worked on 70 projects with over 75 partners, building 10 new trails totalling 8,200 meters. Another 1200 meters were repaired, 184,000 meters maintained, 2 new boardwalks, 10 bridges, 3 sets of stairs built, 383 new trail signs installed, and 21 trail plans developed.
"We saw 70 volunteer trail event days with over 340 volunteer stewards out," noted STA board chair, Reg Walters, along with other collaborative projects like the Trail Mix Art Exhibition with the Shuswp District Arts Council, invasive species work with the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Council, and the first full year growing the new Shuswap Regional Trails Roundtable.
And 2017 is looking just as promising, with new trail plans in the works, improved trail management targeted for our alpine areas, and a sub-committee underway through the Trails Roundtable to update our trail sign standards including Secwepemc leadership developing naming protocols. Plus buzz is growing about major legacy trail projects including the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail-Trail and the West Bay Trail projects.
Of particular note is the Shuswap Trails Legacy Fund, featured at this year's party and the focus of a year-long Canada 150 legacy fundraising campaign. The Endowment Fund is managed under the Shuswap Community Foundation on behalf of the Shuswap Trail Alliance. It sets in motion a legacy fund to ensure greenway trails throughout the Shuswap will be cared for well into the future. Donations at this year's annual party were sufficient to officially activate the fund and kick off the Canada 150 campaign.
Plus STA technical trails specialist, Sutra Brett, was on hand with his partner, Stephanie and new son, Finley, to answer questions about their upcoming 2 month return trip to Patagonia this month to volunteer on further trail development with partners there (watch for updates to come.)
"Huge thanks to the event planning team, and all the volunteers who make the February party such a success every year," said Walters, "we couldn't do this without you."
Find out more about Shuswap Trails, the Shuswap Trail Alliance, and the Shuswap Trails Legacy Fund at www.shuswaptrails.com, check out Shuswap Event's live stream videos on Facebook, and be sure to attend the Shuswap Trail Alliance's Annual General Meeting and update on March1, 2017, at Okanagan College Salmon Arm. All are welcome.
Photo: Salmon Arm Councilors Kevin Flynn and Tim Lavery sport fetching Canada 150 themed red and white tights at this year's Shuswap Trails Party and Fundraiser to sell 50/50 tickets - reported to sell in record numbers. The event raised $37,000 to kick start another year of trails and building relationships and helping to get people outside, active, and on their feet
For more on this release please contact:
The Shuswap Trail Alliance