Salmon Arm  

Phil McIntyre-Paul stepping down as head of the Shuswap Trail Alliance

New leader for Alliance

There will be a new face leading the Shuswap Trail Alliance.

After 15 years at the helm, STA co-founder and Executive Director, Phil McIntyre-Paul is stepping down.

But McIntyre-Paul will not be leaving the group entirely, as he will stay on in an advisory-coaching role.

“The board, management team and I have been working hard on a succession strategy over the past three years,” said McIntyre-Paul. “Despite the pandemic, we are at a very good place in the organization’s life. The idea is that I will make my time available to focus on key projects (as need, funding, and partner requests dictate), and pass the day-to-day running of the STA organization to the very capable hands of our Associate Director, Jen Bellhouse, and the board.”

McIntyre-Paul was part of the circle of regional leaders who first conceived and founded the Shuswap Trail Alliance in 2005.

Those early discussions brought Secwépemc and non-indigenous leadership together leading to the creation of the Shuswap Regional Trails Roundtable, the Shuswap trails strategy and protocol, and the agreement to be guided together by the Secwépemc value of caring for the land.

The result has been the significant growth of a regional greenway trail system and a collaborative culture of care for those trails.

Throughout the pandemic, the Shuswap Trail Alliance has found itself working harder than ever supporting greenway trail initiatives with regional partners in the Shuswap.

“Being outside on trails has been one of the sanity savers for us all,” said Bellhouse. “We have seen unprecedented year-round increase in public access of trails throughout the region over the last year.”

Despite the uncertainty of the past year, several new grants and a well-supported online version of the annual Shuswap Trails fundraiser in February allowed STA leadership to keep the momentum going. “Preparations are well underway for another season supporting trail stewardship, planning, new construction, trail maintenance, and all the other ways we help regional partners take better care of the land,” said Bellhouse. “So we are well on track for this next step.”

The STA will be holding its annual general meeting May 18.

For more information on Shuswap Trails, the Shuswap Trail Alliance, and the upcoming AGM visit their website.

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