A Clarence Fulton Secondary student’s vision and persistence is leaving a legacy for the community.
Last spring, Jennifer Borchert came up with a plan for a walking trail along Vernon Creek behind Fulton School. The project transformed a rough path that was being used by Fulton and Ellison School students as well as neighbourhood residents into a safe and accessible trail.
“The Walking Trail will eventually be part of the city trail system,” said Borchert. “It took many, many, many phone calls to get things coordinated and the time and materials donated. It’s great to see it. I had so much help from the teachers and the school district and businesses and the regional district.”
Fulton principal Malcolm Reid and Global Education teacher Murray Sasges are proud of Borchert.
“This is the biggest student project I’ve seen since I’ve been at Fulton,” said Reid. “Fulton and the community got a beautiful trail and Jennifer has built the skills to take on bigger projects. The people she worked with gained an enormous amount of respect for her. We were there to support her but she was able to solve any problems that came up.”
The 745-foot-long trail from Fulton Bridge to the boardwalk on the wetlands behind the school includes a community garden and a picnic table. Signs made by Ruby Alexis and David Wilson, describing the native plants as used by the Okanagan-Sylix people, will be added in the spring. The trail will be used by students at schools around the district when they do wetlands study projects.
“It’s great to see that so many people can use the trail. We see seniors sitting at the picnic table and it provides wheelchair access to the wetlands,” said Erinn Schroeder, who runs the cook training program at the school and oversees the community garden, using some of the produce in the program.
Borchert started the project with international student, Guillermo Lopez, who returned to Spain in the summer. She kept working, even doing some gravel raking herself, and the project was finished the end of October.
“I have learned a lot, how to organize, public speaking and attending meetings. I’m not sure what I’m going to do in the future but I know I will always appreciate the environment and use these skills,” she said.
Reid thanked the following organizations and businesses for supporting Borchert in her personalized learning: M&K Ready Mix, Speedy Plumbing and Heating, Bear Paw Earthworks Ltd., Ace Bobkat Services, Lynx Earthworks Ltd., Farrer Rentals, Horizon Tree Services Ltd., Summit Environmental Consultants and the City of Vernon.