Donate Now FAQ

Fundraising

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. All donations go directly to trail development, There is  credit card/service fees of approx. 3% for online donations.

Q: What is the fundraising goal?

A: $7.86 million dollars is required to build the trail. The first 3 stages of trail development are funded. Funding of the final stage (approx. $3.2 million) is remaining.

Q: How do I make a donation?

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. A ‘wall of recognition’ will then be constructed after the trail has been developed to honour those who helped to build it.

Q: Why is Kelowna getting a section of trail built using the Bike BC Grant?

A: Grants often outline specific requirements eligibility. A section of trail enabling access to UBCO best suited the Bike BC requirements, therefore the City of Kelowna applied and was successful in being awarded the bid. Two other grants, Rural Dividend and Canada 150, were also successful. These grants are dedicated to work in the Regional District of North Okanagan and the District of Lake Country sections of trail.

Trail Development

Q: Why will it cost over $7 million to develop the trail?

A:  This magnificent route is a valuable community asset that will be used for generations to come.  Costs to convert a railway corridor to a safe, enjoyable route for walking and cycling are required to: 

1) Ensure safety and comfort of trail users. By widening the trail bed, addressing natural hazards (e.g.rock scaling), ensuring safety at trail/road crossings through intersection control, and finishing the trail with an even, smooth surface of crushed, compact aggregate material.

2) Protect the environment. The corridor was built in the 1930s and not been maintained to current environmental standards. Part of trail development will be to ensure that environmental protection measures are in place, particularly along lake shores and watercourses.

3) Allow access greater access. By engineering and constructing a proper multiuse trail will allow access for families with strollers, wheel chairs and a greater variety of bicycles.

3) Ensure long term durability and maintenance. The trail will be constructed to ensure it remains durable over the long term, and will require the minimum amount of ongoing maintenance. This included removing all current materials and rebuilding the foundation of the trail for proper drainage and long-term durability.

Q: When will trail construction work start?

A: Stages 1, 2 and 3 are now funded. This work will be completed by March 2018.

Q: Where will construction start?

A: Development of the trail will begin in all sections of the trail. Survey and Archeological work are now in progress in all sections of the trail as are installation of access contrail gates and bridgework. Rock scaling will be completed primarily in the north, and 'test' sections will be completed in each section to refine the trail construction process and confirm costs.

Q: When will the trail be completed?

A: Stage 4 of trail development, construction and completion of the trail, will be scheduled once the stage has been funded. The goal of the campaign to reach this goal in 2017 to allow the work to be scheduled in spring of 2018.

Land Purchase

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

Corridor Use

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 officially open to the public yet. These lands however, would likely be treated similar to other municipal or jointly held lands in our inventory.

Campaign Progress

It will take a community to build a legacy.

Current Target

9% Complete

9%George's Matching Campaign - $150,000

48.5 km Funding Goal

57% Complete

28.13 (57%) total kilometres funded

3353individual
donors

35trail
ambassadors

15campaign
partners

39business
partners

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Funding totals are not automatically updated after your donation, please check back regularly for updates.