Long-awaited trail reopening in Summerland

With the snip of the scissors the long-awaited re-opening of a flooded section of Centennial Trail in Summerland officially took place Friday. Outgoing district mayor Toni Boot, surrounded by other elected officials and dignitaries, performed the ribbon cutting at the lower entrance to the trail which runs along Peach Orchard Road. “It is a much-loved trail for its natural aspects, wildlife and serene sights and sounds of Eneas Creek,” Boot said before the re-opening. “It had devastating damage from the floods of 2017 and 2018. “The best part of this trail is its natural beauty and serene setting along this bubbling brook with birds chirping and wildlife using the area to pass through or forage for food.” According to Boot, the public’s greatest concern was the length of time it was taking to complete the repairs. “It only makes sense that in rebuilding it we needed to be careful that we don’t compromise the special character of this place by rushing forward,” she said. The popular trail and pathway between upper and lower Summerland has been restored through the removal of dangerous and damaged trees as well as placing crushed gravel in the heavily-eroded sections. Earlier this year the work on the sensitive riparian area had to be paused in order to protect nesting birds in the region. Cost to repair the section of the trail was about $130,000, partial funding coming from the province’s Disaster Funding Assistance program. Work was done under the supervision of a qualified environmental professional.

Mark Brett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Penticton Herald