(Left to right) Joan Burdeniuk

Cash in hand

Fort St. James trails initiative leads the way and helps attract people

April Hughes of Northern Health was in Fort St. James on April 10 to present a cheque for $20,000 to the community trails initiative.

The money was from a Healthier Communities grant from Northern Health and will go towards a trail-mapping initiative being organized by the District of Fort St. James and a number of user groups in the community.

“It’s so exciting,” said Hughes. “The work that was done here actually fed into the work in Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof.”

The trails group would like to work on mapping trails in the area and into the future look at developing or improving trails as well and promoting trail connections between communities.

The work being done in Fort St. James and nearby communities, Hughes said is in line with the original idea behind the grants because it is creating inter-community collaboration.

She also said initiatives like this one help in recruiting new professionals into the community because people can feel encouraged seeing these kinds of programs going on to continue to develop and encourage recreation and tourism in the area and improve quality of life.

The Murray Ridge Nordic Ski Club, the Fort St. James Cycling Association, the Fort St. James Chamber of Commerce, the Fort St. James Sled Dog Association and the Fort St. James Snowmobile and ATV Club are all supporting the initiative.