A Vernon group is urging local government to be prepared to get into the trail management business.
Victor Cumming, president of the Ribbons of Green Trails Society, says everyone is excited about the Okanagan Rail Trail, but he says it’s bigger than that with several new trails developed or under construction in the area.
“You’re on the edge of something very significant, and that’s really important. The Grey Canal has three small sections left on more than 30 kilometres of trail, so that is going to burst onto the scene,” Cumming told the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.
Cumming says a governance system similar to the Okanagan Basin Water Board may be what’s needed to govern the trail system in the valley.
“I think you’re going to end up with a North Okanagan unique group. And the question is, is that the same thing that operates valley wide? Is this the beginning of something that just morphs?”
Cumming also says it’s time to celebrate the success of trail development, noting their society will turn 25 next year.
“The regional district, the municipalities, the provincial government, corporate (working together). We’ve ending up with these tremendous trail systems.”
The society also notes the near completion of the Kal Crystal Waters Trail (only 425 m to go), and the Grey Canal.
Cumming says Greater Vernon has now transitioned from a sub-region with three provincial parks providing trails, to a sub region with 7 major trail systems (Middleton Mountain, Predator Ridge, Grey Canal, Okanagan Rail Trail, Kal Prov. Park, Ellison Prov. Park
and Silver Star Prov. Park).
“These will provide destination quality trails, and other smaller local and linking trails (BX, BX Ranch lands, Vernon’s Multiuse Path,
Okanagan Landing Road, Kal Lake Road, Kidston, Jack Schratter). ”