September 18, 2013 - 8:19 AM
KAMLOOPS – Trail bridges in the Lac du Bois area will be the latest to get a facelift in the Kamloops area thanks to the work of volunteers with the Kamloops Thompson Trails Alliance.
This weekend volunteers will come together to redeck bridges along McQueen Creek and provide a little TLC to signs marking the Grasslands Community Trail.
Alliance president Richard Doucette says the group hasn't been together long but the trail system was quickly identified as one needing help.
“We're a relatively new group,” he says. “We've done some clearing in the area and we identified that the bridges needing some redecking. We brought it to the attention of B.C. Parks and we've received some funding to help.”
The group recently signed a volunteer agreement with B.C Parks and have worked together to come up with an annual plan. Having the formal agreement in place allows the alliance to perform necessary clean up and upgrades that meet the required standards in a safe manner.
“It's for the betterment of the ground and the trail,” Doucette says of the regulations.
Saturday and Sunday volunteers are being sought to help with the redecking project, which will require wood to be carried in and then old decking removed. Doucette says some supportive poles may need to be replaced on the bridges as well. He also hopes to have time to work on cleaning up a main sign that has been defaced and to properly install a couple others.
While a lot of members have an interest in developing trails in certain areas Doucette says they need to focus on making sure what is in place already is taken care of first.
“We encourage, promote, and support the use, development and maintenance of trails in the region,” Doucette says. “Right now we're trying to bring up trails to the standard of use. We're trying to spruce up the trails we have before we start talking about creating new trails.”
The alliance is a central partnership between other outdoor groups, including the Overlander Ski Club, the Kamloops Naturalists Club, the Kamloops Hiking Club, the Ridge Runners and the Kamloops Bike Riders Association. Sun Peaks Resort also offers a supportive backing to the club.
“Strength in our organization comes from the member groups that are part of the alliance,” Doucette says, adding the volunteers base varies greatly from group to group but can run as high as a few hundred members.
The alliance is also working on upgrading the trails around Isobel Lake to make them low mobility accessible. While some grant money has come in a lot of fund raising still needs to be done to cover the $60,000 it will cost to complete the upgrades.
Recently partner groups of the alliance worked closely with the City of Kamloops and the bike riders club to reopen connector trails in Kenna Cartwright Park.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013