Work continues to restore natural vegetation at Okanagan Rail Trail Kilometre Zero

Rail trail restoration

Work will continue over the next several weeks to restore natural landscaping at the northern gateway to the Okanagan Rail Trail.

The work will require periods of single-lane traffic as the former rail car shunting yard is transformed into the Kilometre Zero trailhead.

Long-term plans include a plaza and seating areas, hilltop viewpoint, and art and interpretive installations sharing stories of the historical and contemporary place of the Syilx people in the area known as K’?k’maplqs (or Little Head of the Lake).

You can donate to the Kilometre Zero project here.

Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail and Ribbons of Green Trails Society received grants from TD Friends of the Environment, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, and Regional District of North Okanagan to support the work.

“Much of our group’s recent discussion has focused on trailside amenities,” says Harold Sellers, president of Ribbons of Green. “This includes native vegetation that both provides habitat, and connects trail users with nature. We are concerned about the proliferation and spread of weedy invasive plants along our trails, and the TD Friends of Environment grant will get this new trailhead off to a good start with a coverage of diverse native plants.”

Anna Warwick Sears, executive director of the water board, says the plantings will "serve as a model to local residents who visit the area to choose WaterWise native plants for their landscaping needs.” 

Biologist Carrie Nadeau with Associated Environmental, working with Sagebrush Nurseries, has developed a plan to enhance soils by incorporating RDNO Gro compost, creating the best conditions for native plants to thrive. 

The palette of native plants that will adorn the site is typical of what would be found in local grassland natural areas, and include plants that are culturally important to the Okanagan Indian Band.

Trail users can help ensure success by staying on the trail and avoiding disturbance to restoration areas.

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