Monday Night Church of Dirt volunteers will soon be back on the trails as the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society prepares for a new season of trail building and maintenance. (File photo)

Kootenay Columbia Trails Society gears up to build two new trails

The local trails society is tackling two new projects this season and looking for member support.

The local trails society is tackling two new projects this season and looking for member support.

The Kootenay Columbia Trails Society (KCTS) will be building its first trail in Fruitvale this season and building a single track trail connecting Moe’s with Red Mountain. The work will be done by paid trail crews.

“The last two or three years we’ve had two complete trail crews. We’ve had nine paid trail workers because of all the funding we’ve been able to get,” explains Scott Forsyth from the KCTS. “So pretty much the same this year.”

The trail in Fruitvale is the beginning of a new trail system.

“That’s a significant step to continue to work towards our mandate, which is providing trails in the regional area,” says Forsyth.

Rossland’s new trail, Blue Elephant, will be a single track trail connecting Moe’s to Red Mountain and is being paid for, in part, with a $15,000 Recreation Infrastructure Grant from the Columbia Basin Trust. An additional $15,000 will come from the KCTS’s reserves.

The organization is also running a spring membership drive.

Anyone who purchases a new membership before April 30 will be entered into a draw.

Prizes include a pair of MSR Lightning snowshoes from Powderhound, a one-hour mountain biking lesson from Kootenay Mountain Biking, three stainless steel growlers from the Rossland Brewing Company, and gift certificates to Ake Dashi Sushi, Alpine Grind, Better Life Fitness, Gerick Sports, Kootenay Gateway, Revolution Cycles and Service, and the Flying Steamshovel.

You can sign up for a membership at kcts.ca/membership or keep an eye out for posters up around town with a QR code.

The KCTS is also encouraging people to learn more about its Trails for Tomorrow Fund, a trust set up for the KCTS.

The principal is never spent and the annual investment income is used for operations and project funding.

The Trail for Tomorrow fund can be named as a beneficiary in a will or donations can be made at any time.

“When I first heard about it, I was like, ‘Oh, I can do that,’ so I changed my will,” says Forsyth.

“It’s such a neat way to support a community,” he adds.

Visit kcts.ca/trails-for-tomorrow for more information.

The KCTS will also be looking for volunteers, as the Monday Night Church of Dirt will get going again as soon as the weather allows.

“The focus this year is going to be on doing most of it in the spring,” says Forsyth.

He explains that there generally aren’t as many volunteers later in the season and last year he shut down Church of Dirt at the beginning of August. This year most of the work will likely be done in May and June and whether or not it continues into the summer will depend on numbers.

The group will meet Mondays at 5:30 p.m. at the Columbia Kootenay Road gate in Happy Valley.

Forsyth says Church of Dirt has been working on a trail near the top of Lower Milky Way.

Anyone interested in doing some trail building should keep an eye on Bhubble or the KCTS’s monthly newsletter, where Forsyth will announce the first meeting.

“But it might be late this year, because of the all the snow,” he says.

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