Donate Now FAQ
Q: Who is coordinating the fundraising?
A:The campaign is truly a community effort. The Community Foundation of North Okanagan and the Central Okanagan Foundation are collecting donations and providing tax receipts. A volunteer group of Trail Ambassadors are working with Campaign Partners and Business Partners to raise awareness and inspire donations. The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative is supporting the campaign by organizing materials and information. It truly will take a community to build this legacy.
Q: Does part of my donation go to campaign costs?
A: No. There are no paid staff and there is no office. This truly is a community campaign. Costs for campaign materials are covered by Campaign Partners, Business Partners or Trail Ambassadors.
Q: What is the fundraising goal?
A: $7.86 million dollars is required to build the trail. Smaller targets corresponding to stages of construction will soon be in development.
Q: What will funds be used for?
A: All donated funds go to engineering and construction costs of building the trail and to cover the banking/administration fees associated with collected the donations and providing a tax receipt. All other costs associated with the campaign are paid for by Trail Ambassadors.
Q: How do I donate?
A: Click here to donate online or contact the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan and the Central Okanagan Foundation.
Q: How will my contribution be acknowledged?
A: Contributions will be acknowledged on the website okanaganrailtrail.ca/trail-supporters/individual- donors during the campaign. This digital ‘wall of recognition’ will then be posted (digitally or physically) after the trail has been constructed to honour those who helped to build it.
Q: How long is the rail corridor?
A: The corridor is approximately 48.5 km long. It extends from the industrial area in the north end of Kelowna’s downtown to Lake Country, where it continues along the east shore of Wood Lake and the west shore of Kalamalka Lake all the way to Coldstream. A trail will be developed within the corridor.
Q: What will the first phase of trail construction include?
A: The intention is that the rail corridor will be developed in phases, with the initial phase being construction of a continuous compacted crushed aggregate trail with road crossings, signage, and barriers to provide a basic level of safe and accessible use by pedestrians and cyclists.
Q: When will trail construction work start?
A: The first goal is to establish a basic, continuous gravel trail along the length of the corridor. It’s possible work could begin as early as 2017, contingent on a successful fundraising campaign. The timing of any construction work will ultimately be at the discretion of the elected councils of the City of Kelowna, Okanagan Indian Band and the District of Lake Country and of the Board of the Regional District of North Okanagan and planned for in their annual budgeting cycles.
Q: Where will construction start?
A: Construction phases, staging and specific sections will be determined once funding is secured and a Trail Development Plan approved by elected officials of the owner jurisdictions.
Q: Why was the rail corridor purchased?
A: The CN Rail line is a continuous, uninterrupted corridor that connects the urban centres of the valley and provides access to many of the valley’s most scenic features. Protecting the rail line for use as a public right of way potentially benefits residents and recreational enthusiasts today and provides opportunities to meet the transportation and economic needs of the region in the future.
Q: Which local jurisdictions are involved?
A: The District of Lake Country, City of Kelowna, the Regional District of North Okanagan and the Okanagan Indian Band are the owner jurisdictions; the District of Lake Country, City of Kelowna, the Regional District of North Okanagan and the Province of B.C. funded the purchase of the Okanagan Rail Corridor. The portion of the corridor running through Okanagan Indian Band’ Duck Lake IR#7 is in the process of being returned to reserve status through a process that is facilitated by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada after decades of CN Rail occupation.
Q: How much did the rail corridor cost?
A: While the original asking price of the corridor was $50 million, the negotiated cost of the corridor is a combination of $22 million in monetary consideration and land donation for which CN will receive a charitable donation receipt.
Q: What will happen to the leases of those citizens who are currently leasing right of way land?
A: Jurisdictions are working directly with those properties on a case by case basis; however the intent is to accommodate as many of the existing documented leases as possible without infringing on the future needs of the corridor.
Q: Has CN turned over to local governments a completely contiguous right of way?
A: The OKIB lands within IR#7 were not included in the transfer and there are two small property owners who the Inter- jurisdictional Acquisition Team continues to work with to ensure corridor continuity. Other than that the corridor is contiguous.
Q: What about the Okanagan Indian Band - doesn’t some of the rail line pass through their reserve?
A: Approximately 2.5 km of the rail line passes through OKIB’s Indian Reserve No. 7, located between the boundaries of Kelowna and Lake Country. OKIB is claiming reversionary rights within IR No. 7 and we respect and support them in this claim. The Okanagan Indian Band has joined the Inter-jurisdictional Development Team to participate in planning and development of a trail in the Okanagan Rail Corridor.
Q: Where can I get more information about the land purchase and use?
A: Kelowna: Derek Edstrom, [email protected], 250-469-8820
Lake Country: Michael Mercer, [email protected], 250-766-6677
RDNO: David Sewell, [email protected], 250-550-3700
OKIB: Janelle Brewer, [email protected], 250-542-4328
Q: What kind of transportation might happen in the corridor and when?
A: The flat grade, limited road crossings and connection to the urban centres of the valley make the corridor a viable route possibility for future generations. Local governments are eager to see a trail component benefiting visitors and residents of the valley. Until the population base of the municipalities is sufficient to support some other form of transportation, it is unlikely the development of a transit corridor would happen. The corridor will always include a trail component.
Q: How will the rail trail be managed and maintained in the long run?
A: The Inter-jurisdictional Team has been focused on protecting the corridor through the acquisition and is now working on plans for the first phase of development. Operations and maintenance of the corridor could take many possible forms and will be further evaluated leading up to the time when the trail becomes available for public use.
Q: How will I be able to use the trail?
A: Operations, maintenance and security of the corridor has yet to be determined and the trail is not open to the public yet. These lands however, would likely be treated similar to other municipal or jointly held lands in our inventory.