I grew up in Castlegar for my first 25 years, and have been away equally as long.
I have recently and happily returned home and I am a new water front property owner.
After being away for 30 years I am impressed by the energy and excitement emanating from the locals about showcasing Castlegar to live and visit.
In my years away, I have been fortunate to travel the globe and I can say first hand that Castlegar, for many reasons, has the potential to be rivalled by none. The rivers are among Castlegar greatest assets and, to put it simply, we should as a community be able to take full advantage of their beauty, serenity and majesty.
We have an opportunity to build a river trail that will be the pride of our community for generations. The trail should go from Robson to Blueberry but it can be built in stages. It won’t take an engineering miracle to build it, it will just take the consensus that the trail is good for the community and that it will help cement our town as one of the worlds best places to live.
Any trail by its very nature cannot be constructed without some environmental impact and I also acknowledge that a river trail would impact some property owners.
I am confident that both of these concerns could be mitigated by good planning.
For example the trail could vary in width and surfacing to accommodate high flow areas and minimize the impact to the riverbank environment.
We will be forever looked on as the people who had the foresight to build something truly great, that will be used by all ages, shared with visitors and envied by other communities.