Take time to be thankful this season

"These days I am trying to be more intentional, and take the time to reflect on what I have to be thankful for."

Ask someone how they are, and often the response is “busy, very busy!” I am guilty of the same response. What is everyone doing that we are all so busy? These days, however, I am trying to be more intentional, and take the time to reflect on what I have to be thankful for. These are today’s thoughts:

I feel very lucky to live in the Lower Columbias. There are many opportunities to enjoy this region, if you choose to participate … and I do! Dust off your skis and snow shoes, and head up to Champion Lakes Cross Country Ski Trails. A day pass is only $5. Forty dollars gets you a season’s pass for a single user, and for $90, you can get a season’s pass for the whole family! Take a lunch and head into the main cabin on the lake, build a fire and enjoy the view. You will find yourself right in the middle of a Christmas Card – check it out! I am grateful for this opportunity.

Staff from the Regional District Kootenay Boundary and the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Service are working together to gather Firefighting memorabilia for a newly constructed display case in the lobby of the main office at 843 Rossland Avenue. It is a tribute to our local firefighters both past and present. We were able to begin our display with a number of items from the collection of the late Allan Shutek. Al was an avid collector of firefighting memorabilia, and dedicated many years as a volunteer with Company No. 2 in Warfield. We wanted to share the historic memorabilia with you, so, please, come and check it out! Maybe you have something you would like to donate? At the same time, you will also be able to admire the art of a couple from Trail’s Home of Champions: Valen and Velenka Fanderlik. Some of their work was recently donated by Dan McGauley on behalf of his parents, and is proudly displayed here at the RDKB – you are welcome to stop by to view the Fanderlik artwork during regular office hours. For these things, I am grateful.

Our RDKB Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated in support of the Rock Creek fire on August 13th, and it stayed at a Level 3 Activation for 22 days. At its busiest, there were 21 dedicated staff members in the EOC dealing with the ongoing wildfires from Rock Creek through to Big Sheep Creek. This was a talented team of professionals, both from private and public sectors, who came together to manage the fires that hit our region. Due to the dedication and commitment of the staff in the EOC, a number of procedures were put to the test, resulting in new best practices that are now being shared around the Province. There were many heart-wrenching tales shared after the fires, and other stories about acts of perseverance, bravery and compassion. To all of those who participated – I say thank you! I am grateful for your time and commitment.

Recently, the Beaver Valley Recreation Committee called a public meeting on the development of trails within the Valley. While we already enjoy several fantastic trails (Antennae Trail, Mazocchi Trail, Beaver Valley Family Park Trail, and the Old Orchard Trail), we needed to check in with residents to find out what their visions and ideas for future trail development are. Stewart Spooner from Kootenay Columbia Trails Society led a group discussion among 18 volunteers, considering new options for the Valley. One generous resident at the meeting offered access to his lands for trail development, where the summit would provide a breathtaking view of our Valley. Contact the Beaver Valley Arena (PH. # 367-9319) if you would like to join the Trails Development group. For all of this, I say; thank you! I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds us, and the interest and commitment from locals.

My final gratitude for today is for the “Jingle Down Main” event, sponsored by the Village of Fruitvale. Friday evening was a warm and sparkly night, with good food, good cheer, and good music! Saturday morning, I hopped on the “Jingle Express” with my Mom and two granddaughters after having breakfast with Santa. There was a great turnout by residents and community clubs for all the events. A huge thank-you to several businesses and organizations who partner to make these events the success they have become. Check out Jingle Down Main in Fruitvale one year! You will be grateful for the opportunity to participate in one of the many great events offered here in the Lower Columbias.

I am grateful for my family, my friends, my health, laughter, good food and clean water. I am thankful for my dog and the horses, the wild turkeys, and for the privilege of working and living here. Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

Ali Grieve is the Area A director of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. Community Comment is an opportunity for elected officials from our local municipalities to update citizens in the region on the events, plans and progress in their respective communities. Every Friday, the Trail Times will present, on a rotating basis, a submission from councils, school trustees or regional district directors.

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