STA members and non-members alike are encouraged to send in photos of their trail adventures. (Photo contributed by Scott Tibballs)

STA members and non-members alike are encouraged to send in photos of their trail adventures. (Photo contributed by Scott Tibballs)

Sparwood Trails Alliance fundraises for Lunch Loop

Trail adventurers are invited to submit photos of their adventures for an STA calendar

The trails and views around Sparwood and beyond are set to get some love, with the Sparwood Trails Alliance (STA) putting together a calendar showcasing trail adventures to help raise funds for the completion of the Lunch Loop trail network.

STA board member Christina Bilski said the calendar was a first for the STA given the challenges of the pandemic, and participation was good so far.

Anyone – not just STA members – are welcome to send in photos to be considered for the calendar.

“There has been a lot of buzz about photos going around from those who I have spoken to and we have had a few submissions,” said Bilski, who added that the deadline for submissions has been extended to Oct. 30.

“While we would love to put focus on photos of the beautiful Elk Valley area, we are open to photo submissions from all locations that people have taken on their trail adventures. We are also looking for photos from all seasons of the year. Also of mention, you do not have to be a member of the STA to participate – we encourage everyone to submit photos.”

Bilski said one of the most photographed locations around Sparwood was the Lookout – a section on the Great Trail / Coal Discovery Trail between Hosmer and Sparwood “where you have a beautiful view of the valley looking south towards Fernie.”

“Photos from The Lookout are easily identifiable as they usually include our Sasquatch. The many trail creatures along the trails have been a great incentive for trail users to get their families out on the trails in search of them,” she said.

Bilski would know. “Having a young family, my husband and I are always out biking or hiking the trails and we were really excited to explore the newest STA built trail this year. I am also thrilled that the STA has put so much effort over the past few years to install signage at existing trails. This allows those who are new to our trails the ability to explore without the worry of getting lost. We are working on the installation and signage for two map kiosks in town, one at the Sparwood Chamber of Commerce and one at Mountain Shadows campground.”

Work on the Lunch Loop network is ongoing. Another 900m still needs to be completed on the current trail network, and the STA has applied for funding through the Columbia Basin Trust for a grant to build another 1,408m of trails.

“Depending on the terrain, building a meter of trail cost approximately $20 per meter,” said Bilski.

”In addition to seeking out grant applications to achieve our goals, we are trying out a few new fundraising ideas. If the calendar fundraiser is a success, there is the possibility that it could be a yearly fundraiser. After all, who wouldn’t like beautiful photos of the Elk Valley displaying in their home?”

Information on how to submit photos can be found by visiting www.sparwoodtrailsalliance.ca and scrolling to the bottom of the page. The deadline for submission is October 30. If anyone has questions, they can be emailed to sparwoodtrails@gmail.com.

READ MORE: Sparwood expands local trail network



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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