Community Forest trail-building continues on Sunday

Explore Chilliwack: Volunteers have made great progress building trails in the Community Forest. The fun continues Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.

The Community Forest project is seeking volunteers for the next trail-building day on Sunday

The Community Forest project is seeking volunteers for the next trail-building day on Sunday

Summer’s end won’t slow the Chilliwack Park Society down. The next scheduled trail-building day is Sunday, Sept. 27 beginning at 1:00 p.m. at 51996 Allan Road.

Runners, hikers and mountain bikers, these trails are for you. Sunday’s efforts will focus on developing an ascending trail, part of a the 2.5 km moderate loop.

Volunteers made great strides throughout the summer. “The 2 km beginner loop is now finished and ridable,” said project manager Marc Greidanus.

The Community Forest project, created in partnership between the Chilliwack Park Society and the City of Chilliwack, has been active since June, converting over 100 acres of forest land into a community park.

For a short time, the massive old-growth forest area was used for selective logging. “When we were a tiny town of 10,000 people, it made sense to do that,” said Coun. Sam Waddington.

Greidanus explained that despite having “a few small cut blocks,” and a triangular portion sold to a developer who was interested in building a ski hill gondola, the forest remained largely untouched since it was logged 100 years ago.

In fact, It almost became forgotten territory. But when Greidanus and Waddington came across the land in fall of 2014, they thought it would be a great area to put in a trailhead, leading up to the Elk-Thurston saddle.

When they approached the city with the proposed access point, Glen MacPherson, Director of Operations, saw the potential.

The Community Forest Project is one with incredible foresight.  As the Eastern Hillsides undergo significant residential growth, having a park nearby is essential. Additionally, it preserves the ancient wilderness, and the forest is ideally situated to eventually create access links to Popkum, Marble Hill and Ryder Lake, Greidanus explained.

Due to the combined efforts of the Chilliwack Park Society and the city, the Community Forest will be “one of the biggest municipal park developments in the Lower Mainland in the last 50 years,” Waddington expressed.

And volunteers are making it happen, right now.

The community has had a great response to the project and are eager to get involved.

Kerry Frayne, from the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association (FVMBA) “has done the work of 10 men,” Greidanus enthused. “His help and the FVMBA’s guidance have elevated this trail system.”

Beginning next week, Unity Christian School’s shop class will be building and installing low bridges, culverts, retaining walls and drainage control for the beginner trail.

elk steps (photo by Aaron Froc)Professional trail-builder Ewan Fafard has recently completed new cedar steps at the top of Elk Mountain, and he’s been hired to work on the more difficult, downhill flow portion of the moderate loop in the Community Forest beginning next week.

The volunteers use fallen or donated timber to make park-style furniture to set up in the forest, like benches and picnic tables. They’ve recently received a large supply of timber from Denbow, a company that processes forest residuals.

There are also plans to develop an educational component to the forest, including interpretive signage and, potentially, a historical tour of First Nations land use.

“We have seen a fantastic turnout from the community with over 50 people attending the last few trail days,” said Greidanus. And he is sending out the call once again.

The Chilliwack Community Forest is located at 51996 Allan Road. If you want to take part in the trail-building on Sunday, bring closed-toed shoes, work gloves, a shovel and water. Trail-building begins at 1 p.m. and will take place rain or shine.

To learn more about the project, visit chillliwackparksociety.ca.

Do you have a favourite place to explore in Chilliwack? Email sam.bates@theprogress.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack General given award for surgical care and patient outcomes

First time three Fraser Health hospitals receive award from surgical quality improvement program

Jessica Peters is a reporter at the Chilliwack Progress.
COLUMN: Bouncing back from a brain injury isn’t easy

‘We didn’t know how bad it was until I tried to return to work’

Google Maps screenshot taken at 6:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Westbound dump-truck crash on Highway 1

Crash occurred around 6:45 a.m., west of 232nd Street in Langley

The 11th annual Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage runs now until Dec. 11. (David Sucsy, Getty Images via Metro Creative Graphics)
Chilliwack Realtors asking people to help fill Christmas stockings for kids, seniors

Donations of cash, items needed for Christmas Stocking Drive hosted by Royal LePage

The BC Court of Appeal in Vancouver.
BC Court of Appeal hearing Barry Neufeld’s arguments why defamation suit should go ahead

BC Supreme Court tossed out lawsuit against Glen Hansman a year ago following anti-SLAPP legislation

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Most Read