Consultation meeting for Trails Master Plan resounds with residents
The auditorium of the Nakusp and District Sports Complex was full as residents came out to give their input in the consultation meeting for the Trails Master Plan (TMP).
The TMP aims to provide a comprehensive strategy in the ongoing development of a community-wide network of trails in the region.
Consultation meetings like the ones held in Nakusp, Burton, and Edgewood help to guide the development of trails and establishes wide selection of trails for a variety of trail users, from walkers, mountain bikers, ATV drivers, and more.
Those involved in the consultation process were pleased with the turnout for the meeting.
“We didn’t know how many people to expect, and the room was full and everyone was engaged,” said Christine Bilodeau, a planner and landscape architect with Brent Harley and Associates, one of the groups involved with the TMP. “There was great input about stuff we were not aware of that people brought in, and we cannot wait to look deeper into the recommendations of what people think and ideas they have.”
During the meeting residents were asked to take part in in a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) exercise. Talks soon turned to the village of Nakusp and the barriers placed along the rail trail that have made it difficult for anyone travelling using a pedal bike or motorized vehicle to use the trail.
At the end of the evening residents were asked to help with mapping. Three maps of the region were taped up to one of the walls in the arena. One wall was for green dot stickers, one for yellow dot stickers, the other for red dot stickers.
Red dots meant favourite trails, ones a person might take a visitor if they wanted to show off the natural beauty of the area. Green dots signified frequently-used trails, ones a person would use constantly for things like walking a dog or going for a run. Yellow dots meant staging areas, where the staging areas are or where improvements need to be done to these areas, like adding parking, adding outhouses, information kiosks, and more.
Those who attended the meeting were impressed with both the showing and information given out.
“I thought it was great with the number of people that came out to give input,” said Jerry Van Immerzeel, vice president of the Arrow Lakes ATV Club. “It’s a little different from what we heard down the lake in Burton and Edgewood. It was good to get the flavour of everyone.”
Van Immerzeel has been to all three of the meetings, and feels he has learned a lot about the Trails Master Plan.
The consultation process for the Trails Master Plan will continue until some time in late spring or early summer.