Residents and visitors to the Slocan Valley will be pleased to hear that the Slocan Valley Rail Trail (SVRT) is the recipient of major funding from the latest round of Recreations Initiatives Grant, created by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).
The $250,000 in funding will be put toward the South Slocan Community Recreational Greenway Project. The project was a joint application of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) and the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society (SVHTS).
“South Slocan and Crescent Valley are the two largest communities in the south end of the Slocan Valley,” said Craig Lawrence, director of the SVHTS. “This funding allows us to expand the recreational opportunities between these communities as well as making it more accessible to a wider level of fitness levels.”
There are two components to the project. The first is to connect and pave the bottom four kilometres of the SVRT between South Slocan and Crescent Valley. This will connect the two communities and allow access from the Trans Canada Trail to the 52-kilometre long rail trail, which runs from South Slocan to Slocan Lake. The second component is further development of the long awaited Crescent Valley Beach Park.
Lawrence said having a paved surface will allow a wider range of usage in a safe environment.
“From skateboards, to roller blades, to cross training, to those with mobility issues, the growth of use of the trail in this area will increase dramatically,” he said. “The easier you make it for people to recreate, the more inclined the marginally active will be to take advantage of the opportunity”.
Feedback from the community has been very supportive.
Work will begin in the spring/summer of 2017, in conjunction with the South Slocan bridge replacement, and is expected to take several months to complete.