They made a picturesque afternoon out of a desire to create more picturesque access points in Prince Rupert.
Late in August, the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society and the Rotary Club teamed up with recreation leader Kendal Shepard to organize the inaugural charity golf scramble fundraiser for the development of Rushbrook Trail.
There are many unofficial trail sites scattered throughout the city and its borders, but a lack of upkeep and oversight has caused the majority of them to fall into a state of disrepair and in some places, even a safety hazard.
The new society is looking to change that.
Armed with a master plan for a Kaien Island trail network linking numerous existing, but shoddy trails, the trail society received a major financial boost recently with the successful golf fundraiser, organized in very quick fashion by Shepard and his band of volunteers and sponsors who made the event possible.
“I’m in a college program out of Langara and it’s a leisure development course, and this year one of my projects was [organizing] a golf scramble that fundraises for a non-profit community organization,” said Shepard.
“I’m good buddies with Steve [Milum] (a Back-Country Society member) and I know he’s been pushing this hard and I want to see that. I want to see trails around town. I want to walk or ride the trails and what better way to get this going?” said the rec leader.
At the end of June, Shepard set out to recruit a volunteer and a sponsor for the tourney. He ended up with five volunteers and 15 sponsors.
Ten teams took to the links on Aug. 28 and it was the Putt Pirates that emerged victorious after all was said and done.
Team MC came in second, and last-place OverUnder got third pick at the prize table after the first two winners.
Shepard himself won the longest drive on Hole 10 and Ken Schulz got closest to the hole on Hole 2. On Hole 17, Team Balls Deep were closest to the hole for an additional prize.
A grand total of $1,185.25 was raised after registration, the 50/50 draw and raffle prizes.
“The new society is taking on the overall trail master plan for Kaien Island, and working with the city and others to make those trails happen. One of the great things coming soon to Rotary is working with some other community investment groups that are going to be reactivating the Rushbrook trail early in the new year,” Milum said.
The Rushbrook trail begins beyond the Rushbrook dock and continues along the cliff face, though the revitalization will take the trail away from the cliffs and toward the water. A protective mound would also protect walkers from falling rock and emergeat the Seal Cove seaplane base area.
“That’ll take you into the next trail system, which will take you out to Butze Rapids from the seaplane base,” Milum said.
The McClymont Park trail is also on the society’s radar, which starts at the civic centre, runs through the skate park and pops out by Canfisco on George Hills Way.
“[With the fundraiser] the finances are always helpful and just community-building in general [is beneficial] – getting people from different organizations and demographics of the town out together and talking about stuff and having fun,” said Milum.
“The publicity too builds up that excitement and engagement.”
The funds will be used for materials and labour costs for Rushbrook and Shepard is planning on organizing a similar scramble for 2017, while looking for volunteers and sponsors. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved.