An effort to engage and activate the community to fund the dream of a safe yet challenging trail system is underway.
The Westside Legacy Trail Fundraising Committee (WLTFC) recently released a YouTube video that was created to help advocate for safe biking trails in the Columbia Valley and to raise $4 million to build it, moving cyclists away from busy streets.
The videos purpose is to raise awareness for the trail, said Mark Hawla, Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance (CVGTA) executive director. It was created as one of the components of our social media campaign to reach out to people on various social media platforms and let them know about the trail.
The 25-kilometre trail is moderately flat with challenging sections, and it will be located on the west side of Lake Windermere parallel to Westside Road. The CVGTA and WLTFC anticipates the pathway will be five metres wide with a three-metre paved width featuring a painted centre line.
The goal of the project is to connect communities from Invermere to Fairmont Hot Springs while stretching across private and Crown land and within Ministry of Transportation right-of-ways.
With awareness comes a little bit of fundraising, and with fundraising comes a trail, said Mr. Hawla. We need to raise $4 million and we have raised through cash and in kind donations just under $600,000.
The CVGTA is a registered charity and will be issuing tax receipts to donors providing financial support to the cause an initiative many people from the community got behind.
Catalyst Creative Company videographer, Courtenay Allan, put together a video that reveals the off-road land the trail will be on, which has largely been private land that is being donated to the project.
The trail will be open to runners, bicyclists, rollerbladers, strollers, wheelchairs and rollerbladers.
Honorary Chairman of the WLTFC, Cory Sarich, is featured on the promotional YouTube video. Mr. Sarich, a former Calgary Flames defenceman from 2013, suffered a life-threatening cycling accident on Windermere Loop Road on July 21st, 2014.
There are also guest appearances by Invermere RCMP Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac and Cpl. Grant Simpson, local mountain bikers, Killer Rollbots team members, students and many, many more.
“As you can see in the video, not everyone can handle a bicycle safely,” said Cpl. Simpson. “Imagine what could have happened if Marko had been riding bike, instead of just dancing beside it thus our detachment’s support of the Greenway’s project.”
For more information about the video or to make a donation, visit www.greenways.ca. You can also view the video on YouTube by searching Greenways Presents – The Westside Legacy Trail.