Kilometre Zero Phase 1
Feature Project for Fundraising and Trail Improvement
- First public capital fundraising since the ORTI trail fundraising campaign.
- Phase 1 (Natural Landscaping) completed; about 1000m2 of high standard restoration guided by a Registered Professional Biologist; 500 plants (23 species) plus native grassland seed mixture; design and installation of a temporary, re-usable, gravity irrigation system.
- Read more about the Km 0 project.
Volunteers On the Trail
Trail Ambassadors and Trail Stewards
Covid prevented Trail Ambassadors (TA's) from active duty until August 15, but from August 15 to the end of October, over 200 TA hrs were logged. Covid protocols were established and volunteers attended TA training sessions in order to get back on the trail.
- Sourced and customized "My Impact" online volunteer management program to efficiently manage and track volunteer activities.
- 47 total volunteers - added 27 this year.
- 8 board members - 1 and 2 year terms.
- 42 Trail Ambassadors.
- 19 Trail Stewards.
- Project Volunteer Agreement put in place for Km 0.
- July 12 - Dec 15 - 1,400+ volunteer hours logged.
- Tents, flags and vests purchased to provide identity.
"The amount of work and sweat (and love) that has been put into this trail by FORT is absolutely incredible! You guys have done wonderful work and I can’t believe the energy that’s still going to this project!"
Catherine Lord, Ribbons of Green Trails Society, Vernon
The values of Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail are aligned with this treasured community amenity. The user experience is key, but also important is protecting and restoring natural areas along the trail, telling the stories that enrich the trail experience, and engaging trail supporters.
Most of FORT Directors have been involved with the trail since before the trail was built. We know the trail managers, the users, the audience, the stakeholders, the contractors and the trail environment.
Our volunteers contributed towards planning, guidance, and donor relations for the three interpretive sites opened this year. These sites demonstrate the added value of trailside improvements, and the potential for donors to leave a valuable legacy.
Our work will support strengthening the ORT brand including the welcoming experience, sustainability practices, protecting the natural environment, celebrating the rich cultural history, respecting the Syilx People's place in their traditional territory, and keeping our communities engaged with this treasured corridor.
The potential for ORT communications platforms to reach a large and broad audience creates great value for trip planning, trail management and inspiration.
A future goal will be to collaborate with managing jurisdictions to expand the interpretive experience and stories of the trail, and to create tools that encourage a safe, respectful user experience.
Agreements and relationships were built this year to set the stage for future activities:
- FORT/RDNO Project Volunteer Agreement (allowing FORT to direct hire for specific site work).
- ORTC/FORT Agreements with Community Foundation of North Okanagan and Central Okanagan Foundation.
A goal is for more regular communications between ORTC and FORT, and agreements with each municipality. Proactive dialogue on projects, priorities and grant opportunities will help to build greater synergies for the future.
- The 2020 planned budget for trail programs totalled over $18,000, and we were grateful to receive $15,000 from ORTC. Expenditures were under budget at $10,000. Next year's budget revenue will be similar, assuming limited opportunity for revenue generation from events and markets. Expenditures will increase somewhat due to the expansion of our Trail Steward program.
- Km 0 was the focus of FORT's fundraising efforts and trail improvement this year. With the Project Volunteer Agreement in place, a PO system tracked all costs for the project. Revenue came from Grants and public donations. The actual cash outlay for Phase 1 of Km 0 totalled approximately $50,000, however this amount does not reflect the various in kind services and materials nor the numerous volunteer hours contributed to complete this project.
- In total $36,000 was generated from the public by donations through our Community Foundation partners, the collaboration of 3 Rotary clubs and the Filmed by Bike Event. These funds are used exclusively for enhancements and improvements to the Trail. Funds not expended in fiscal 2020 for Phase 1 of Km 0 will be used for Trail projects in 2021.
- Continue to pursue grants in cooperation with the municipalities.
- Continue to pursue Charitable Status for FORT.
- Investigate opportunities for low key sponsorship that could create funding opportunities while respecting ORTC policy and approach.