Columbia Basin Trust is helping to build and improve trail networks throughout the Kootenays.
The Trust recently announced over $1-million in funding for 26 projects in 17 communities.
Some trails will be longer, get upgraded surfaces, or have new bridges, benches, or signage, while others are new and improved, linking existing trails and communities.
“Together, these projects will give Columbia Basin residents and visitors access to even better and well maintained trail systems as they experience the region’s incredible surroundings, while at the same time providing jobs,” said Justine Cohen, manager, delivery of benefits, Columbia Basin Trust.
“Getting outside can positively influence physical and mental health, and help us connect with nature, so trails can have wide-reaching impacts.”
The Kootenay Columbia Trails Society received a $45,000 grant to build a 3.5 kilometre connector trail from Webster Road in Fruitvale.
In Salmo, the Salmo Valley Trail Society gets $13,200 to extend the True Blue and DeLaurentis trails and develop connector trails in the Erie Creek area.
The Castlegar Parks and Trails Society will complete phase 3 of the Grandwasoo Loop with a 1.5 km beginner friendly trail for hikers and mountain bikers thanks to a $16,500 grant.
The society will also benefit from a $8,000 grant to develop a parking lot at the base of the Rialto Trail network.
In addition, the Trust is also providing wage subsidies so organizations can hire trail workers, enabling unemployed and underemployed Basin residents to gain valuable work experience and advance their skills while at the same time further 1enhancing trails.
The Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club Society will benefit with funding of $11,870 for two employees.
Castlegar will receive $20,275 in funding for two employees, and Salmo $37,350 for three workers.
In total, 16 organizations are receiving Trust funds to offer 38 trail-crew jobs.
Other trail projects are also going in Crawford Bay, Elkford, Jaffray, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, Kimberley, Nakusp, Nelson, Rosebery, Hills, Summit Lake, Kaslo, Slocan, Sparwood and Valemount.