And now it’s the community’s turn to step up to the plate.
Assuming all the political bodies involved in the Okanagan rail trail hop on board, it’s now the corporations and citizens of the north and central Okanagan that get to help drive the dream forward.
“It takes a community to build a legacy,” said Brad Clements, of the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative which is volunteering its time for the project.
The former rail corridor was bought for $22 million by a consortium of local governments, including Kelowna, Lake Country and the Regional District of the North Okanagan, along with a contribution from the provincial government.
But to take that corridor and make the 47.9-kilometre-long, 4.6-metre-wide trail along some of the most scenic territory in the country accessible to walkers and cyclists from here and elsewhere, well that’s going to take some doing.
In fact, $7.86 million of doing.
But it’s an ambitious plan for what could be a world-class recreation site for locals and tourists alike, and it has to be done right and it will take some time, and money.
Critics are right to ask questions about the plan, that’s how you anticipate problems, but there’s an excitement and a buzz about this project that should be able to tap into corporate and citizen sponsorship on a grand scale.
Grants have to, and will be, pursued as well but do stay tuned to how you personally can turn this dream into a reality to be enjoyed for decades into the future.