Volunteers work tirelessly on the Lois Creek trail system in Kimberley.

Lois Creek Trails in Kimberley; a volunteer effort

Many volunteer hours go into to keeping trail system in good shape

For the Bulletin

At the Annual General meeting of the Friends of Lois Creek it was obvious that a considerable amount of work has been done to maintain and enhance the trail system. Trail widening and brush cutting made the trails more accessible. As a result there will fires in the near future to burn the trash piles. The Friends of Lois Creek will monitor the burn to make sure the smoke doesn’t drift over the town.

An exciting proposal was presented by Laura Duncan called the Mainstreams project that will focus on stream restoration and water quality issues in the Lois and Kimberley Creeks watershed. A Kimberley Streamkeepers group will be established for Lois Creek that will also help control invasive species. Identification of stream structure and riparian habitat that will be studied and improved. The project will also work with the City of Kimberley to create a stream channel/wetland complex before the creek enters the culvert to divert water into Mark Creek. A wetland educational curriculum will be introduced in the schools as well as the community at large. Kimberley students will be involved in improving riparian areas in Lois and Kimberley Creeks. It is an exciting and worthwhile project and the Friends of Lois Creek feel very fortunate to have Laura Duncan who has the knowledge and experience to ensure a successful outcome.

The Kootenay Orienteering Club will be hosting races on the Lois Creek trails during Julyfest on Saturday July 22nd. The races will be spearheaded by Naomi Hummeny, who herself is a prolific runner, information about registration for the trail runs will be forthcoming.

One of the noticeable enhancements to the trails are the boardwalks over swampy areas built by Gregg Campbell assisted by Nigel Kitto. Trail users are very complimentary about these improvements.

A considerable amount of work has been accomplished with the installation of signs throughout the trail system. However for some unknown reason vandals have taken it upon themselves to pull some of the posts with signs attached out of the ground and to destroy some of the smaller posted signs. Vandalism is a serious issue and parties in the wooded areas of Florence’s Gully have left broken bottles, cans and used a firepit that if the fire got away would threaten the houses on the bank above the trail. Identification of the culprits will result in prosecution. Anyone aware of the perpetrators is asked to contact members of the Friends of Lois Creek, or specifically Don Davies @ 427-3966, Blake Rawson @ 427- 5495 or Nigel Kitto @ 427- 7789.

Another issue of concern is the problem of some dog walkers not cleaning up after their dogs. Doggie bags and poop scoops are available at each of the trail heads, however some of the dog owners throw the bag into the bush. It is not a pleasant experience to find doggie poop on one’s shoes, skis or snowshoes.

Maintenance of the trails is a big job and Blake Rawson works hard throughout the winter to provide groomed ski trails only to witness trail users walking down the middle of the groomed tracks. Separate trails for snowshoers and walkers are maintained alongside the groomed ski trails. The Friends of Lois Creek is a volunteer group working to keep the trails in good shape to ensure the best possible experience for trail users.

Further information and photos of the Lois Creek trails can be seen on the Friends of Lois Creek website on Facebook. Membership as a Friend of Lois Creek can be achieved by purchasing a T-shirt for $20.