$50,000 needed to bring historic Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail back to life | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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$50,000 needed to bring historic Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail back to life

FILE PHOTO - A cyclist at the Fur Brigade Linear Park between Peachland and Summerland, 400 metres above Okanagan Lake.
Image Credit: ET2media, Summerland

KELOWNA – The society trying to preserve a trail that has been used for thousands of years in the Okanagan needs a sponsor.

The 3.5 kilometre Fur Brigade Trail runs between Summerland and Peachland. Thousands of years ago it was cut by First Nations people, and it has since been used to bring goods to and from the Coast. Trappers used the trail to sell their fur pelts and ranchers used it to drive cattle.

Now the Trail of the Okanagans Society is working hard to give it new life as a hiking and cycling trail.

The society is also actively trying to restore a 250 km path from Osoyoos to Sicamous of which the Fur Brigade Trail is part.

Society president Henry Sielmann was hoping to get $100,000 from the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, however according to the draft of budget, which will be finalized at the end of the month, the district has set aside only half the amount requested.

“It was a little too optimistic,” he says. “So far the Parks Department has earmarked $50,000 of the $100,000. Hopefully that won’t be challenged in the next two weeks, but you never know.”

Sielmann is confident the project will eventually be finished but that may take the help of at least one corporate sponsor.

“We now have the task of coming up with $50,000 or come up with a design that’s less expensive,” he says. “We are hoping to find one major corporate sponsor. That would be my preferred approach.”

He says he can’t divulge who he has been speaking to, but has until the end of fall to decide how to proceed.  

“We have one or two specific companies in mind. We need to approach them and see where it goes.”

The plan is to enter into design phase by end of year and start construction in 2018.

“For us it’s more than just the physical trail,” Sielmann says. “It’s an experience.”

He asks anyone interested to send an email to Trail.of.the.okanagans@gmail.com.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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