Williams Lake First Nation creating community trails master plan

·1 min read

Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) decision-makers are looking for input from their members regarding a community master trails plan.

Questions ranging from what trails could be used for, to whether members support opening trails on reserve to non-community members are part of the survey.

“A lot of cities and First Nations are investing in trail master plans because it gives them a document that guides recreational trail development for years and years to come,” said Thomas Schoen, who has been retained by WLFN as their trails specialist advisor.

“The big value in that document is also that it’s a shelf-ready funding document.”

The First Journey Trails CEO helped WLFN complete trails in June 2016 starting and finishing at the Chief Will-Yum Campsite which connects with the Fox Mountain Trail Network.

WLFN Chief Willie Sellars said trail development, which gives community members a chance to participate in a healthy activity, is a critical component of healthy living.

“Being outside and getting exercise is very key, especially now with the COVID-19 outbreak,” Sellars said.

“We’re starting to see it more and more and encouraging more, and building trails not only for biking but for walking is what the vision is.”

While community engagement and stakeholder input will play a large role in developing the community trail master plan, Sellars envisions trails by Borland Creek and above the WLFN community of Sugar Cane, allowing individuals to experience the natural beauty of WLFN territory.

“We want to develop it over the course of this year, 2021, and really hit the ground running in 2022 with trail builds,” Sellars said.

The survey is available until March 21, 2021.

Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune