TRAIL TEAM Celebrating the completion of local Greenways trails are (left to right) Greenways director Gerry Wilkie, regional district area F director Wendy Booth, Greenways directors Taoya Schaefer, Mark Halwa, Sue Crowley, and Doug Clovechok, and Invermere-Panorama marketing representative Ken Wilder. Mayor Gerry Taft arrived after the picture was taken. Photo by Kristian Rasmussen

By Kristian Rasmussen

Pioneer Staff

The Columbia Valley celebrated another step towards sustainability on Saturday, December 15th, with the completion of the last section of paved trail connecting the Castle Rock subdivision to the crossroads of Highway 93/95 and Athalmer Road.

I think it is very important for our community to have a place to go together and be outside, said Mark Halwa, Columbia River Greenways Trail Alliance director. My passion is cycling, and I love to see moms out with the chariot towing the kids behind their bike; two years later, you see the kid on a little bike.

The current phase of the project is a $38,000, one-

kilometre stretch that starts at the top of the Athalmer Road hill and runs east to Tim Hortons. The total length of the trail is estimated at seven kilometres and was completed through a joint partnership between the Regional District of East Kootenay, who donated $15,000 towards the cause, the Columbia River Greenways Alliance, who raised $17,000 and the Ministry of Transportation, who made up the remaining $6,000.

Land was made available for the project through the combined efforts of the Shuswap Band and the Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Halwa added. The District of Invermere has taken on the task of maintaining the trails, which will also feature outdoor exercise equipment

similar to that found at the Mount Nelson Athletic Park.

In addition to the recent trail completion, the Columbia River Greenways Trail Alliance learned that they have received a further $25,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust for a new Copper Point trail.

The trail will go from the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce up to Copper Point Resort and come back around to the cemetery, then feed out on to the portion that just finished being paved, said Mr. Halwa.