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Mother of slain Armstrong teen appeals for support in maintaining daughter's memorial trail

Marie and Kirstie Van Diest unveiled the Taylor Jade Van Diest Memorial Trail June 23, 2013.
May 23, 2014 - 3:49 PM

ARMSTRONG - An Armstrong mother is hoping a trail honouring her slain daughter will be overrun with community support instead of weeds.

Marie Van Diest, whose daughter Taylor was murdered by convicted killer Matthew Foerster on Halloween 2011, intends to come before Armstrong city council Monday to appeal for help in maintaining the Taylor Jade Van Diest Memorial Trail.

“We’re very proud of it,” Marie says. “But it’s getting very overgrown with weeds."

The trail, which runs parallel to the railway tracks where Taylor was killed, officially opened last June. The paved route is decorated with perennials and sculptures, and is illuminated with solar lights.

Marie says the city originally indicated they would assist with weeding, watering and general maintenance, but is now unclear on the help she will actually get.

“It’s a lot of work for me and Kirstie (Taylor’s twin sister). We went out on Mother’s Day and barely made a dent,” Marie says.

Aside from blowing snow and pine needles off the trail, she says the city hasn’t kept its word. 

Armstrong mayor Chris Pieper says maintenance of the trail isn’t currently in the city’s budget. 

“I’m not sure it (maintenance) was ever asked for,” he says. “If nothing’s been asked for, we can’t approve it. I'll have to wait to hear Marie’s proposal.”

Marie hopes to get cooperation from city hall, and failing that, she’ll look for helping hands in the community.

“Otherwise the weeds will overtake everything. That would be so sad, we can’t let that happen,” she says.

Taylor’s killer, Matthew Foerster, was found guilty of first degree murder last month and sentenced to life in prison. His father, Stephen Foerster, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to Taylor’s murder and was handed three years in jail, minus the time he has already served in custody.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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