By Steve Hubrecht
[email protected]

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has named two well-known local Columbia Valley residents as volunteers of the years for RDEK Area F and RDEK Area G. Nipika Mountain Resort co-owner Lyle Wilson is the 2020 Area F volunteer of the year and Brisco-area farmer Hedi Trescher is the 2020 Area G volunteer of the year.

“I am surprised and humbled by this, and am very grateful to have been selected,” Trescher told the Pioneer.

Submitted photo of Hedi Trescher

Trescher is known up and down the Columbia Valley for her work with the Windermere District Farmers’ Institute (WDFI), where she is program coordinator. In naming Trescher, the RDEK mentioned her work with the institute, pointing out her instrumental role in establishing the Windermere District Farmers’ Institute Abattoir at the Invermere crossroads, but also noting that she has been an outstanding volunteer is many other capacities for more than 50 years, mentioning in a press release that “she continues to be an active member of the Brisco and District Community Association and is a passionate advocate for local food production and food security.” Additionally, Trescher has voluntarily written and published a history book of the Brisco and Spillimacheen area to benefit future generations.

“She is known for her dedication, kindness and volunteerism,” wrote the RDEK.

For the Area F award, the RDEK noted Wilson’s many years of volunteer service with both the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club and the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance (CVGTA), writing that he has “dedicated his life as a volunteer towards supporting his community in becoming more engaged, active, and healthy.” Wilson has volunteered with the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club for decades, serving as a coach, president and board member and play an essential role in getting the Lake Windermere Whiteway started (a project that began more than a decade and a half ago).

With the CVGTA, Wilson has been instrumental in helping get the Westside Legacy Trail finished. Additionally, he has volunteered with Canfor’s Public Advisory Group for Forest Sustainability since 2006, and has, as the RDEK wrote, “given countless hours to benefit the mountain bike and cross country skiing communities and has played a key role in developing the sport of mountain biking including fat biking and accessible trail development in the Nipika/Cross River Recreation Area.”

Wilson was every bit as humble as Trescher about the award when contacted by the Pioneer.

“It surprised me. It was kind of funny, because I got a call (from RDEK officials) and I thought ‘uh oh, am I in trouble for something?’” Wilson told the Pioneer. “So it was kind of a relief to find out it was an award instead. I am honoured and humbled to be chosen, but I truly feel I am getting more credit than I am due for these projects. I’m lucky that the people I hang around with are hard-working, progressive go-getters, who really like to get things done, and that I think this accolade should go to them because it’s a whole slew of people that are doing the heavy lifting on things like the Whiteway and the Westside Legacy Trail.”