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Many hands make light work on local trails

Steve Konke, Sid Jorna, Mark Ziegler and Mike Hicks in front of the trail build by community volunteers. - Pirjo Raits
Steve Konke, Sid Jorna, Mark Ziegler and Mike Hicks in front of the trail build by community volunteers.
— image credit: Pirjo Raits

In an effort to promote active transportation an initiative was taken on by SEAPARC, and the Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society.

So what a group of avid hikers and volunteers did was build some stairs to make the trail between SEAPARC and Throup Road more accessible.

“This was identified through the community as a hazardous trail,” said Steve Knoke,  SEAPARC manager. He said hundreds of people use the trail everyday. The trail was slippery and steep and muddy even at the best of times.

It began with a meeting in August where the designs were started and the property surveyed. Volunteer Mark Ziegler did the surveying, Sid Jorna did the original design which was finished by Howard Taylor.

Ziegler and Jorna are members of the Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society, which has 110 members, making the new trail improvements a total community initiative.

“We promote all levels of community trails for hikers, bikers and equestrians,” said JdFCTS member Rosemary Jorna. Other community members, like Widdith Excavating sent over their equipment which made the work a whole lot easier. They built the stairs in two days.

It took only two days  in mid-December but the weather didn’t cooperate and they battled through rain and sleet.

“Those were tough conditions,” said Ziegler.

JdF Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks said it will be a huge addition for children going between Journey middle school and SEAPARC.

It is also the closest walking route fromSunriver to Journey or Poirier. Getting kids active and outdoors is one of Konke’s prime considerations.

“That for us, was one of the reasons,” said Konke. “We’re investing in infrastructure so they can be active.”

The trails society would like to take on others projects as well, like constructing a bridge across DeMamiel Creek to integrate Sunriver into the community.

“I want to express some gratitude to the Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society and Sid Jorna for these improvements for children,” said Hicks. “They did beautiful work.”

Hicks also acknowledged Konke for pulling the whole thing together.

The trails society wants a trail network from East Sooke to Otter Point and beyond.

“It’s the little ones that link a neighbourhood,” said Rosemary Jorna. “Our membership tries to put our bodies where our ideas are.”

The JdFCTS organizes hikes on the first and second Saturday of each month. They are also responsible for cutting broom on Whiffin Spit and they have been doing so for the past 10 years.

For more information of the trails society go to: www.jdftrails.ca.

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