With construction of the Midgley Cabin now complete and the Summit Cedars Trail (the name is official, but it is commonly referred to as “Ralph’s Grove”), project scheduled for a summer completion, the Trails for Creston Valley Society has been very active over its four years.
“As a board, we are an evolving team of passionate leaders with a diverse skill set driven by a passion and love for our valley,” society president Mary Jane Blackmore said last week. “Please see our website for a list of current directors, crestonvalleytrails.ca. Our team is committed to professionalism and to ensure the value, credibility and succession planning for the Trails for Creston Valley Society in serving our region. “
The Midgely Cabin project, spearheaded by Gwen Telling, involved upgrading an old trapper’s log building on Topaz Creek Forest Service Road. Summit Creek Cedars Trail is a circle trail build to honour the memory of local woodsman Ralph Moore. And aluminum bridge will be installed this summer to complete the first phase of this popular destination off Highway 3 near the gates before Kootenay Pass.
While the first four years of the recreated society were devoted to laying the groundwork and getting charitable status (done), the society can also point to its efforts at the Old Ferry Landing on Kootenay River.
“To best meet the needs of our active committees and volunteers we are moving towards a Trails Alliance style of governance (similar to Fernie Trails Alliance),” Blackmore said. “We feel this will be a vital step to increase the value and effectiveness of our board. We feel we are well positioned to help manage the conflicts that can arise on multi user trails. Planning and fundraising for a part time paid staff person is one of our top strategic planning goals.”
Creating alliances can avoid duplication of efforts and save time, money and work. To that end, TCVS has become a stakeholder in the Creston Community Forest, and has offered to work closely with the RDCK as it develops a trails master plan for the Creston Valley and East Shore.
Another priority is to continue work to create and maintain public access points to Kootenay Lake.
Part of the society’s commitment is to create maintenance plans for trails so that they don’t deteriorate or get offloaded on to local governments.
“Trails for Creston Valley Society has developed into a valuable community resource with an invaluable potential, including a small army of active and enthusiastic volunteers,” she said. “We can help access grants and funding for projects like trail or park developments, reducing the load on taxpayers.”
“Last fall our directors completed the Non-profit Advisors program through CBT as well as an annual in-depth strategic planning session. We are also working with Kootenay Employment Services to facilitate technology training for all directors to ensure we eliminate potential technological barriers. We are a member of the Chamber of Commerce and meet in their boardroom on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30. We carry a hefty insurance policy covering directors and TCVS events. Our year-end and AGM is held in June each year.”