The River Reconnect mural on the Trail Memorial Centre shines in the night thanks to the lights that were officially turned on on Friday

The River Reconnect mural on the Trail Memorial Centre shines in the night thanks to the lights that were officially turned on on Friday

New lights brighten up Trail river mural

A six-year effort culminated on Friday when new energy-efficient lights were officially activated to illuminate the River Reconnect mural.

Light has been shed on Trail’s newest mural.

A six-year effort culminated on Friday when new energy-efficient lights were officially activated to illuminate the River Reconnect mural.

Trail Councillor Gord DeRosa, of the River Reconnect Committee, spearheaded a campaign to have LED street lights installed on the retaining wall of the Trail Memorial Centre.

“It’s new technology,” said Larry Abenante, Trail’s public works manager. “We’ve used it in other places, but in small doses. This will be one of our big ones and we’ll see how it goes. We are starting to use it on some of our exterior lighting projects because the (lights) use a lot less energy and require a lot less maintenance.”

The lighting component came from Defiant Energy Solutions, which provided the LED street lights free of charge. The plan could cut the use of power by 93 per cent because the light emitting diodes are 13 times cheaper than florescent lighting.

“The biggest reason that we contributed to this project is that Trail, and a lot of the surrounding businesses gave us a lot of support early on and we (saw) a chance to help out with this beautiful opportunity,” said Travis George, president of Defiant Energy Solutions, who was in Trail last week with the company’s operations manager Raymond Bauman

“It was the right thing to do,” added George.

The company’s generosity ousted some of the financial concerns that had previously plagued the city and the River Reconnect Committee took care of rest by fundraising the remainder of the money required to advance on this $25,000 project.

“It took awhile for people to bite into the whole concept,” DeRosa explained.

“They just thought it was a whole bunch of pretty pictures on a wall rather than pictures with a meaning and now they see the benefit. And what better theatre could we get than a wall this big facing this close to the Columbia River?”

The 200-foot-wide painting on the Trail Memorial Centre offers symbolic images like a bald eagle with a maple leaf wing—representing the trans-boundary of the Columbia as two nations, one river.

This and other details about the mural are explained in more detail on the sign located across the river at the boat launch road near Gyro Park, which offers a perfect view of the city’s largest painting by Nelson artists Tyler Toews and Steven Skolka.

The Columbia Basin Trust’s Lower Columbia Community Development Team (LCCDT) contributed $10,000 for the River Reconnect Mural Lighting Project. In addition the LCCDT’s new chair Mike Martin and former chair Craig Adams accepted a $2,500 cheque from B.C. Hydro representative Mary Anne  Coules.