The Okanagan Rail Trail will eventually connect Kelowna, through Lake Country and to Coldstream on the outskirts of Vernon and is well into a fundraising campaign aimed at raising nearly $8 million to develop the trail.
2016 saw dozens of campaigns held to raise money with matching programs or individual efforts, while one Lake Country homeowner continued to fight against the trail, which passes immediately past his home, situated on Wood Lake.
The future trail, the development efforts and issues, and the tourism potential, keeps the Okanagan Rail Trail as one of the top stories of the year for the second year in a row.
When former Kelowna city councillor Colin Day purchased his property on Wood Lake years ago, he thought it would be just temporary. But having fell in love with the property, with an orchard and the CN Rail line running through it, he and his wife made it their family home.
The Day’s were able to purchase the CN Rail line on their property and the couple asked that the proposed trail be moved away from its property but this summer the land was expropriated by the District of Lake Country, prompting the Day’s to file a lawsuit in BC Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, it appeared rail trail supporters were well on their way to making their goal of raising the $7.68 million to develop the trail with matching programs that were successful throughout the year, from businesses and individuals.
— Okanagan Rail Trail (@okrailtrail) October 13, 2016
As the calendar gets set to turn, the fundraising campaign is 24 per cent towards its final goal.