Vancouver, BC, November 22, 2016 – British Columbia’s section of The Great Trail is now one step closer to province-wide connection, thanks in part to a recent $100,000 donation from TimberWest. Located on Vancouver Island, Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Trail is a vital link in BC’s section of the Great Trail, creating an important connection between the Malahat Connector Trail to Shawnigan Lake — a popular Cowichan Valley vacation destination — and the City of Langford, near the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
TimberWest’s support will help fund the construction of 21 kilometres of non-motorized wilderness trail, for the enjoyment of hikers and cyclists. Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Trail will also link two historically significant and spectacular destination Trail sections: at one end, the Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo Regional Trails, and at the other end, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, which wends its way from Langford to Victoria.
“TimberWest and TCT believe in the importance of having access to Canada’s magnificent outdoors; that it should be at everyone’s doorstep,” says Valerie Pringle, TCT Foundation Co-Chair, “and their support of the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Trail in BC helps TCT in our goal of connecting the Trail for Canada 150 celebrations in 2017.”
TCT is supported by financial contributions from donors, in both the public and private sectors, who believe in TCT’s commitment to investing in vital infrastructure for safe, affordable outdoor activity, and to fostering an appreciation for Canada’s spectacular natural heritage. TimberWest is Western Canada’s largest timber and land management company, and the largest private landowner on Vancouver Island. They contribute to the economic and social well-being of the communities where they operate and where employees live, and, like TCT, believe in trails as important gateways to nature, and healthier, more active lifestyles.
“The Trans Canada Trail is a pan-Canadian project with strong local value,” says Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of TimberWest. “It is very gratifying to be able to facilitate safe access to this section of beautiful Vancouver Island forest. Our donation unites two important local trail networks in the Victoria and Nanaimo regions, and helps unify our country from coast to coast.”
Every Canadian province and territory is home to its own section of The Great Trail, which is owned and operated at the local level. TCT works with regional trail groups and organizations in the planning, designing and building of the Trail in communities across Canada. Project leads for the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Trail are the Cowichan Valley Regional District and Capital Regional District.
TimberWest has donated hundreds of acres of land to conservation partners across Vancouver Island. This is the first time TimberWest has deeded an entire lakebed to a non-profit group. The Company has been operating for over 100 years on the BC Coast, and is Western Canada’s largest private timberland company. TimberWest holds renewable Crown harvest rights to 700,000 m3per year. All its public and private forest lands are third-party certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. TimberWest is privately owned by two leading Canadian pension funds.