Salmon Arm  

Community foundations join push to build Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail

New way to build the trail

Two new charity partners have joined the fundraising effort to make the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail a reality.

Splatsin, the Regional District of North Okanagan, and Columbia Shuswap Regional District rail trail ownership partners have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shuswap Community Foundation and Community Foundation of the North Okanagan.

The foundations will now accept public donations and hold them in a reserve fund earmarked for construction of the trail.

"We are extremely excited to be partners in the development of the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail into a world-class, year-round destination for people to enjoy," says Roger Parenteau, manager of the Shuswap Community Foundation.

Together with the help of private donors, a world-class, 50-kilometre non-motorized rail trail will connect communities from Armstrong to Sicamous.

"We are embarking on a journey in partnerships with other jurisdictions to show the world that we as Splatsin te Secwepemc have much to offer in our rich connection to the lands and water with our culture, songs and dances, we are still here after thousands of years, the land is the ashes of our ancestors," said Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian.

The fundraising campaign is based on one metre of hard-packed aggregate trail costing approximately $160.

Donated funds will be used to leverage government grant funding.

Donations can be made via credit card, cheque, e-transfer or cash. Email [email protected] or phone 250-832-5428 for more information.

Erosion during high water has undercut the rail bed, and the need for a highway overpass at Highway 97 north of Armstrong have inflated the cost of the full trail to an estimated $23 million.

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