The community fundraising campaign for the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail launches with a splash of colour as Askew’s Foods steps forward to be the first community partner offering up to $20,000 in matching funds.
The launch features a specially commissioned winter greeting card showcasing the natural beauty of the rail trail in winter by local artist, Otto Pfannschmidt. The five-card packages will be for sale at Askew’s Foods for $20 and each dollar raised will be generously matched up to $20,000, doubling your investment!
“It’s going to be an amazingly beautiful trail along Mara Lake and the Shuswap River - a wonderful amenity for locals and visitors alike which will attract thousands from near and far. The partnership with Splatsin is a real benefit too, contributing to the reconciliation process. Askew’s is pleased to support this truly wonderful project,” says David Askew.
Incredible energy is building with significant interest from residents throughout the region. Strategy sessions are taking place and a committed volunteer fundraising committee of local leaders has formed to mobilize communities and raise the capital funds needed to build the trail.
The hiring process for the Fundraising Strategy Coordinator is complete and Alex de Chantal has joined the Rail Trail team bringing valuable experience in fundraising, community development, and project management.
"We are very fortunate to have Alex's experience supporting the community fundraising committee," states Phil McIntyre-Paul, with the Shuswap Trail Alliance, acknowledging the Province of British Columbia's support for the position.
Alex de Chantal shares, “As an avid cyclist, and a property owner adjacent to the trail, I’m thrilled to help build the most beautiful rail trail in Canada and continue the great work already completed by Splatsin, CSRD, and RDNO. I am ever so grateful to Askew’s for stepping up as our first community partner and the Christmas cards will be available in all four stores.”
Donations can also be made at: shuswapnorthokanaganrailtrail.ca/donate and a tax receipt will be provided for any amount over $20. You can follow the campaign on the Facebook page and on Instagram.
Fundraising will be focused on building a world class rail trail corridor from the Shuswap to the North Okanagan eventually connecting to Kelowna and further south enhancing healthier communities, resilient economies, and active lifestyles. The campaign is concentrating on the rail trail surface estimated to cost $160 per meter. As funds are raised to surface the trail, they will help leverage government funding to address all the other layers.
The rail trail links communities from Sicamous to Armstrong and provides an opportunity to unfold the true story within the Secwepemc Nation territory focusing on sharing culture, values, and relationships.
The Splatsin are a leading partner in the Rail Trail initiative, bringing both local government and first nations together to work collaboratively towards a common goal of uniting communities and connecting with the land.
"I want to personally thank all the community leaders for the excellent work they are doing to support the rail trail vision. You are the boots on the ground!" said Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian, chair of the Rail Trail Governance Advisory.
Significant progress has already been made in securing the land, designing the rail trail, and establishing the development plan. It is very technical work and extensive consultation has already been completed regarding laying down the trail surface, keeping erosion at bay, channeling flood water, taking care of the environment, addressing safety at road crossings, rock-scaling cliffs, creating parking areas, and designing signage.
You can learn more about the development plan details, the capital fundraising campaign, and how to donate at: www.shuswapnorthokanaganrailtrail.ca
Photo: Three generations of the Askew family, Claire and her son Joseph on the left and David on the right, are joined by Phil McIntyre-Paul, Project Manager and Alex de Chantal, Fundraising Strategy Coordinator of the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail as they show off the specially commissioned winter greeting cards available at all four locations of Askew’s Foods.
More information at www.shuswapnorthokanaganrailtrail.ca (Photo Credit: Shuswap Trail Alliance)