Helping clear the path for enhanced recreational opportunities

Blair Weston and FortisBC

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Blair Weston, Community & Indigenous Relations Manager, FortisBC

In 2020, FortisBC was exploring opportunities to contribute to a local community project. Having recently begun construction on a major, multi-year gas line upgrade project in Cranbrook, adjacent to, and partially within, the Cranbrook Community Forest, they were keenly interested when the College kicked off a fundraising campaign for the Cranbrook Community Forest trail enhancement project which, when completed, will enhance this recreational area for community members and visitors to the region.

“We consider FortisBC to be a member of the Cranbrook community, and as such, we have a role to play by contributing to projects that benefit the wider community,” said Blair Weston, Community and Indigenous Relations Manager, FortisBC. “We were eager to support the College’s effort to enhance the Community Forest trails through a financial donation, and to also provide access to our transmission line for use as a trail. This is a project that will enrich the recreational experience for local bikers, hikers, and nature lovers.”

Thanks in part to FortisBC’s contribution, the College met the fundraising goal of $100,000. Work will begin in fall 2021 or spring 2022 and will include the creation of a designated College trailhead with improved signage and a bike wash station; a rejuvenated multi-use track with benches; a mountain bike flow trail with berms, technical features, and ride-around options; and the addition of native plants and interpretive signage.

With a commitment to serving customers and contributing to a stronger, healthier BC by investing in grassroots projects in the communities in which they live and work, and with their own connections to the College, FortisBC’s support of the trail project was a natural fit.

“The College is a hub for learning and activity within Cranbrook and the wider East Kootenay region,” Weston added. “Some of our employees have studied there, while others now have children who are students there. The fact that the College’s main campus is situated next to, and offers access to, the Cranbrook Community Forest places it in a beautiful area of the region. We hope all of the students enjoy using the space to get outdoors and be active.”