Vernon Silver Star Rotary Club gives ‘Thumbs Up’ to the proposed Kilometre Zero gateway to the Okanagan Rail Trail. (Photo submitted)

Fundraiser launches for Okanagan Rail Trail gateway

Plan for Kilometre Zero in Coldstream includes staging area, signs, public art, lookout

The Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail (the non-profit volunteer group who support the rail trail) are launching the first fundraising campaign to support development of a ‘signature northern gateway’ at Kilometre Zero of the trail.

Kilometre Zero is just off College Way in Coldstream, accessible by the pathways along College Way and Kalamalka Lake Road. Concept plans call for development of a ‘plaza’ staging area, interpretive installations and public art, a hilltop lookout and native plant restoration with indigenous gardens.

Donations from communities and trail users will be added to grants from the Regional District of North Okanagan, Okanagan Basin Water Board and TD Friends of Environment Foundation to initiate site development this fall.

“Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail (FORT) were awarded the first grant from a new RDNO Trails and Natural Spaces grant program,” said Mike Fox, RDNO general manager of community services. “The grant requires that FORT match the RDNO contribution, and given the increased use this year, it is obvious that the rail trail has a lot of community support. RDNO also heard enthusiastic support for the Kilometre Zero Concept Plan at open houses last fall.”

Work with the Okanagan Indian Band is uncovering some of the rich stories of this area called K’ək’maplqs or ‘Little Head of the Lake.’

“K’ək’maplqs was important to our people for fishing, hunting, and harvesting, and remains of pit houses have been found in the vicinity,” said Byron Louis, Chief of the Okanagan Indian Band. “The Okanagan Rail Trail was originally part of a larger interconnected network of trails utilized by our people to access all parts of Northern Syilx Territory to undertake essential sustenance, societal and spiritual activities.”

The Okanagan Band will continue to be an active partner in discussions on how to develop and manage the route, including the stories to be shared. Indigenous knowledge is also helping to shape plans for native plant restoration and plants important to the Syilx culture.

One of those plants is smúkwaʔxn, or Arrowleaf Balsamroot, the iconic yellow spring wildflower that many of us refer to as Okanagan Sunflowers. This beautiful flower is also the theme for the fundraising campaign.

“We did not expect a global pandemic when we prepared to fundraise for this site last spring,” said Laurie Postill, chair of FORT fundraising. “Although plans were put on hold, these past few months have highlighted the importance of the rail trail to our community and the gratitude of trail users. We would be thrilled to see donor support for the complete concept plan but are taking a modest approach given the challenges of COVID-19. Our target is to raise funds for the first phase of site development, starting with the ‘Okanagan Sunflowers’ and other native plants, and the Syilx stories.”

For more information on proposed developments at the Kilometre Zero gateway, and the ‘Sunflower Campaign’ for the first phase of site development, please visit okanaganrailtrail.ca.

READ MORE: Fundraising campaign launched for rail trail

READ MORE: Support rolls in for Okanagan Rail Trail



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fundraising

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chris Marchand
Survivors spread reconciliation with Vernon’s cultural partners

Cultural Safety Program facilitated by Syilx elders

(Submitted by Cassidi Markus)
Snow flurries forecasted for the Okanagan this weekend

Arctic front expected to bring colder than average temperatures and snow

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

The District of Lake Country closed down the controversial Airport Inn Lakeside motel in 2019. (Daniel Taylor - Black Press file)
Asking price for controversial Airport Inn in Lake Country dropped to $6.9M

‘Lake Country is too precious a place to not have something great there,’ Realtor says

Vernon’s Okanagan Spring Brewery rolled out its first product – Premium Lager – 35 years ago on Oct. 19, 1985. (Google Maps)
Cheers to Vernon’s Okanagan Spring Brewery

Company produced first brew 35 years ago on Oct. 19, 1985

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

Osoyoos Fire Department responded to reports of a vehicle engulfed in flames Sunday (Oct. 18) evening at a Lambert Court residence. (Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near home

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

A file photo of an RCMP dog. (Campbell River RCMP photo)
Lawsuit claims Kelowna man suffered ‘vicious’ attack by RCMP dog, handler

Fernando Verde claims he was resuscitated at the hospital and needed emergency surgery following the attack

Most Read