A Shuswap credit union jumped onboard a local rail trail project with a $50,000 donation.
On Wednesday, April 20, the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail announced it received the donation from SASCU for the trail’s construction.
The announcement was made at Splatsin Community Centre where a pilot section of the rail trail will be constructed between Splatsin and Enderby.
A second section approved for construction will begin in Sicamous and extend to Mara.
SASCU board of directors chair Dave King presented a cheque to representatives from the local governments which own the rail trail: Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Doug Thomas, Columbia Shuswap Regional District Board (CSRD) chair Kevin Flynn, and Regional District of the North Okanagan Board director Brian Schreiner.
“This project will help build connections among neighbours and foster healthy living,” said King. “We are so pleased to support this environmentally and community-driven initiative that has brought together partners from across the region.”
Thomas thanked SASCU for the donation.
“In Splatsin history, the railway represented a division of land and a loss of resources,” reads an April 20 media release. “Projects such as this one provide an opportunity for all involved to partake in reconciliation and to work together towards a common goal.
“For decades, there was little acknowledgement of the unceded territory that is British Columbia. To hear this may be startling to many British Columbians; however, partnering with First Nations and learning of the ways they lived off the land for thousands of years, will benefit and hopefully revive the practice of ‘take what you need, use all that you take.’ This was vital to ensure that there were resources available for those yet unborn.”
According to the media release, the rail trail will promote a healthy lifestyle and exercise, family outings, the appreciation of nature and knowledge of the land, as well as an improved understanding of Secwépemc values and culture.
An ongoing fundraising campaign for the rail trail encourages corporate and community donors, “as many grant applications require a matching financial commitment to qualify.”
For more information or to donate, visit www.ShuswapNorthOkanaganRailTrail.ca/donate.
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