The groundbreaking for a 1.3-kilometre paved pathway took place last week. From left are Rotary director Bob Van Balkom

The groundbreaking for a 1.3-kilometre paved pathway took place last week. From left are Rotary director Bob Van Balkom

Province, municipality partner on pathway

Cyclists, walkers and joggers in Summerland will have a safe place to enjoy their activities on a 1.3-kilometre paved pathway.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place at Highway 97 and Arkell Road on the morning of July 9.

Dignitaries,community groups, individuals and press gathered for the announcement of a cycling and pedestrian pathway project in Summerland.

The project is a partnership between the Ministry of Transportation and the District of Summerland, which contributed $80,000.

The contract valued at $731,344 has been awarded to BD Hall Construction Corporation of Surrey, for the construction of a two metre-wide pathway adjacent to Highway 97 between Lakeshore Road and Thornber Street. A guardrail will also be installed.

“It’s a great day for all of us,” said MLA Dan Ashton. He explained to those in attendance that “little by little the talk of opportunities to start linking the Okanagan Valley” was starting to materialize.

“Pretty soon there are going to be links all the way through and we’ll be able to cycle the Okanagan,” he said, adding “it gives us another aspect of tourism for those shoulder seasons.”

Ashton said that a great many people have been involved in the project, naming the Rotary Club of Summerland, The Trail of the Okanagans, The District of Summerland and the province. He thanked the Project Manager, Steve Sirett and his staff from the Ministry of Transport and congratulated the company that would be doing the actual work. He said it was only by people working together for a common cause, all doing their part that a project such as this could get done.

Summerland Mayor Peter Waterman thanked the B.C.Government and MLA Dan Ashton for the bulk of the funding for the project, describing it as a very critical and important link for Summerland.

“This lakeshore trail will be a great addition to the districts trail network, linking Lower Town and the Trout Creek residential area,” he said. “It will be a beautiful and safe trail for residents and tourists alike. I am sure it is only the beginning of further links to Penticton to the south and communities to the North.”

Connie Denesiuk, representing the Trails of the Okanagan, said that this project showed how quickly things could get done when people came together and how “fantastic” it was for the South Okanagan. She explained how it was only two short years ago when cycling enthusiasts came together to build on one man’s vision of a lakeside pathway.

“I want to give Don Gemell some credit here. He deserves a lot for the initial vision,” she said. Denesiuk also thanked Ashton for his enthusiastic response to the idea when it was presented to him.

Don Gemell is a member of the Rotary Club in Summerland and his fellow Rotarian, Paul Barber told those gathered that the Rotary club takes on a local project every year. He explained that they had looked at this idea as a way to bring some economic vibrancy to the community.

“This wouldn’t have happened unless there were some people that were visionaries,” he said. He went on to say that MLA Dan Ashton was “number one” in this regard.

“We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for your being a great listener and then making things happen. We all have a lot of gratitude to you.”

Barber also thanked Sirett for being a “fantastic listener” as well.

“Your a hero from our point of view because we’re getting a lot more than we bargained for.”

The pathway project is expected to be open for use in August of this year.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Nominally 'flushable' wipes caused one of Keremeos lift stations to shut down, damaging the pump inside. The Village is asking residents not to flush anything that isn't human waste. (Black Press)
Keremeos reminds residents not to flush wipes after pump damaged

‘Flushable’ wipes caused the pump to seize up and burn out

Twin sisters Kyla, left, and Jordyn Bear have accepted scholarships to play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for this upcoming fall. The 17-year-olds dream of playing together for Canada in the Olympics one day. (Jesse Johnston/CP photo)
Lake Country twins inspire Indigenous hockey players

Grade 12 George Elliot Secondary students Kyla and Jordyn Bear earn hockey scholarships at NCAA Division 1 school

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A in Princeton

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were present at the McDonalds in Armstrong Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Tomer Joury - Facebook)
Police handle ‘high-risk’ situation at Armstrong residence

A woman was apprehended and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act; no charges laid

Most Read