Gulf Islands Regional Trails Project Background
Initial public engagement occurred in the Spring 2017 and input received at that time helped inform the development of the draft plan. A second round of engagement was held between mid-July and early October to receive comments from the public, First Nations and other government agencies on the draft plan.
Between October and December 2017, all comments received from the public were reviewed and considered.
This plan was approved by the CRD Board in March 2018. Given that the plan proposes five new regional trails (50 km) be developed over six islands, it notes that implementation is likely to take decades to fully achieve. The GIRTP notes an intent to develop the regional trails within the provincial road dedications.
The initial two priorities identified in the GIRTP are to seek external grant funding for construction of the Mayne Island Regional Trail, as a demonstration project for developing regional trails in the Gulf Islands and to seek external grant funding for the design of four initial regional trail segments on Salt Spring, North Pender, Galiano and Saturna Islands.
As a first step, in July 2018, the CRD applied for a grant through the BC Rural Dividend Program, to assist with development of engineering designs for initial sections of the three future regional trails in the Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area (North Pender, Galiano and Saturna).
In March 2019, the Province confirmed that the CRD was a successful applicant. In the fall, the CRD undertook a Request for Proposal process to seek a consulting firm to undertake the project and, in January 2020, Herold Engineering began the project. Site visits with the consultant, subcontractors and CRD staff were conducted to do an initial consideration of which side of the road appeared more feasible for the trail. Subsequently, survey work was done to identify the extent of the road dedication and challenge areas, among other things, for the base maps for the designs. To learn more about the Mayne Island Regional Trail project, please visit the CRD website.
Once completed, the project will allow the CRD to begin capital planning for these future trails and will position the CRD to be ready, when the time comes, to apply for grant funding for construction as set out in the GIRTP. For more information about the GIRTP, click here.