The Okanagan Rail Trail Committee has selected three sites of the corridor connecting communities in the valley to develop interpretative stations exploring the cultural and natural history of the area.
Sustainability co-ordinator Michelle Kam told City of Kelowna councillors the view site in the Regional District of North Okanagan, Ribblesworth site in Lake Country and the Carney Pond site in Kelowna have been selected to concentrate its interpretative efforts.
The three sites, funded by the Weatherill family foundation’s donation, will offer both onsite and web-based interpretive programs developed by experts, related agencies and community members. Preliminary work is set to begin soon and the three projects are expected to be completed by fall.
Event management strategies have been developed as interest continues to grow around the project. Kam said events held on the Rail Trail must include only the preapproved permitted uses of the trail and it the pathways must remain open to the general public during events.
“This will ensure that the primary uses of recreation and commuting are not impeded by events,” Kam said.
A brand strategy has also been created to establish consistency among all districts involved in the Okanagan Rail Trail.
“Its visual identity program is essential to this planned approach to building the Rail Trail’s reputation and keeping its reputation as we build facilities, services and programs,” Kam said.
The branding strategy also includes a finalized logo that combines historical and traditional representations inspired by Syilx pictographs. The logo is encapsulated in an oval or an “O” shape representing the Okanagan and it includes subtle details such as Kilowna (grizzly) claws representing the Syilx name for the area, as well as railway ties calling back to the region’s rail history.
Councillors sang their praises about the design and Coun. Luke Stack offered his compliments to the committee.
“Every time I hear about the Rail Trail, I am so impressed with how much progress has been made and it’s always better than expected,” he said. “You guys continuously meet the objectives you’ve set and so I say hats off to you.”