02/18/2022 River Talk
Flooding Of Manuels River
Our Manuels River trails system was severely impacted by the rainstorm and snow melting in January. The excessive damage has caused disruption to the use of the trails by our community that has come to rely on the trails for their physical and mental well-being. The Gallagher Walk section of our trails behind the centre was not impacted, nor was the T’railway which is managed by the Town of CBS.
The flooding of our trails has removed the top layers of our trails in several sections, the granite steps at Martha’s Place were washed out, and erosion has been excessive along the sides of the trail. The costs of repairs exceed our organization’s capacity with the limited resources we have as a charitable organization.
We had much warmer temperatures than we typically have this time of year, climate change is definitely playing a part here. In areas like ours, we depend on the gradual melting of the snow.
The earth’s warming atmosphere is going to result in more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow. So, when the weather is warmer, we are getting more rain and snow is melting faster; we cannot predict what will happen with the water levels. We have learned a lot about the river and how the water levels have been changing over the years.
As we plan to restore the existing trails, we need to include mitigation upgrades. Therefore, we are facing costs upwards of $250 000 to restore the trails and to raise sections of the Ocean Trails to mitigate against future flood damage.
Since 2017, over $1.7 Million has been invested to upgrade and develop over 4 KMs of our trails system to be more accessible to all visitors. To ensure the upgraded trails and the older section of our trails stay clean and safe, our charity spends about $50 000 annually for trail maintenance and repairs.
Our trail maintenance and repairs are done by the Grand Concourse Authority (GCA) which is also a non-profit organization that builds and maintains an integrated walkway throughout the region. GCA built our new and upgraded trails so they are quite familiar with our trail network and what needs to be done.
We really want to move forward with continuing our trail development plan with the upgrades to the Canyon Trail this year. However, our immediate need is to repair the trails and restore them to the beautiful trails that were enjoyed by 300 000 people in 2021.
We are so thankful for the donations we have received to date. The donations made through our Website and our GoFundMe campaign have allowed us to start repairs. We have secured Martha’s Place steps and have safely reopened the lower section of the Canyon Trail; opening the full trail behind our Centre. We have also been able to repair the pedestrian underpass and the trail from the underpass to Kingfisher Bridge.
The Ocean Trails have had the most damage. To repair the east and west segments, we need your help.