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The original item was published from 2/18/2022 4:31:32 PM to 9/30/2022 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: September 29, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Rail Trail Receives BC Active Transportation Grant of $500,000

Rail Trail Heading North Toward Hurricane Bay (Jacob Brett)Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A $500,000 grant towards the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail will support preliminary work of the 19.8 km section of the rail trail from Sicamous to Mara, allowing the public early access to this part of the trail.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) in partnership with Splatsin te Secwépemc, will use BC Active Transportation provincial grant funding for an Early Access Safety and Asset Protection project which will begin development of the preliminary 19.8 kilometre rail trail corridor. Contributions from the CSRD Electoral Area E and District of Sicamous Economic Opportunities Fund were used to leverage grant funding.

The Sicamous-to-Mara application was submitted in July to address rock scaling, road crossings, bridge decking, safety signage, preliminary grading, and erosion mitigation. This funding will allow a portion of the corridor to open for early access and exploration prior to the final finished Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail.

"We know that people are enthusiastic about using active transportation as an affordable, safe, climate-friendly and enjoyable way to get around," said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "That's why we're making these investments in safe bike routes, walking paths and other local active-transportation infrastructure. This program is one of many ways we're working to create more livable and better-connected communities across B.C."

Increasing the accessibility of active-transportation networks and other green modes of transportation is central to Move. Commute. Connect., B.C.'s comprehensive strategy to make local transportation safer, greener and more accessible for all British Columbians. Over the next three years, $36 million has been committed to the Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program, with nearly $13.7 million in funding awarded in 2021.

"With this recent announcement, we have now secured more than $1.2 million in grant funding and $200,000 in corporate and community donations, " said Alex de Chantal, Fundraising Strategy Coordinator. "Incredibly this was all accomplished in under a year! The early success of the Capital Fundraising Campaign shows there is significant support from the community, and various levels of government, to get this rail trail built. However, we're not done yet. Significant fundraising dollars are still needed to reach our $8 million goal. I am grateful to the CSRD Board and Electoral Area E Director Rhona Martin and District of Sicamous council for their ongoing support of the rail trail and for using Economic Opportunity Funds. I applaud Splatsin, CSRD, and the RDNO for their leadership and commitment to building this section of the rail trail."

There are also exciting developments happening further south, with the Trails of the Okanagans Society making great progress towards development of their section of trail from Kelowna to Osoyoos.

For more information or to donate, visit the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail website.

Photo: A view of the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail heading north toward Hurricane Bay. (Jacob Brett/Shuswap Trail Alliance)

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