Positive Working Relationships

Partnerships are essential component of the FTA’s success. Whether we are referring to our society board members working to pilot the directives of our member clubs, or the supportive relationships of our funding bodies, the ongoing accomplishments are primarily attributed to these amenable arrangements.

The most recent partnership established, is that of the three Elk Valley communities entering into a collaborative project to construct the Elk Valley Trail component of the Trans Canada Trail. Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford all have their individual identities, which are sometimes perceived as being isolated and not working together on common goals.

The Fernie Trails Alliance has worked to break down these barriers through the cooperative creation of a plan to build a trail that links these communities. With presentations to the respective Councils, extolling the socioeconomic benefits of an accessible, quality trail network, and the commitment to provide long term trail stewardship, a “Memorandum 
of Understanding” has solidified this partnership.

From a funding perspective, the project has received the nod of confidence from the Columbia Basin Trust/RDEK, with the allocation of $430,000 from the “Elk Valley Community Directed Fund,” with a matching contribution from the Trans Canada Trail Foundation, being made available to the Fernie Trails Alliance to manage this major project.

As the proposed trail will pass through the lands of many privately held parcels and right of ways, the “Land–Use Agreements” are the ultimate partnerships, founded on trust, common objectives, community support, and general confidence that the trail stewards will maintain a safe and liability free corridor. The FTA will be directing the overall project and a well defined selection of trail construction project tenders will be offered this spring. The construction process will require collaborative efforts by many, to insure that the project objectives of the Alliance, its funders, and the overall Elk Valley Community members are met.

The Trails Alliance has diverse partnerships with volunteers, who assist in many capacities, such as fund raising, committee participation, event coordination, and of course the ever popular trail maintenance opportunities. We depend on the varied skills that these groups offer, and could not function without these active supporters.

Over the next couple of years the Elk Valley Trail will see a partnership ribbon of inclusive connectivity constructed over 145 km, with the hope of establishing a forged linkage between all of the resident and visitors to the Elk Valley. Anyone who is interested in being part of this legacy project is encouraged to check out the FTA website for information on how your partnering can benefit our community trail organization.