Welcome our new Trail Manager – June 2020

It’s been a long time coming, but this spring sees a new addition to the primarily volunteer-run Fernie Trails Alliance. The FTA are delighted to announce the hiring of Ben Martin, as our new Trails Manager.

As the umbrella organization representing all trail users in the area – while working with its member clubs, recreation groups and landowners to maintain access to and enhance, Fernie’s trail network – every season poses a new focus, goal and challenge for the FTA.

Spring is invariably the busiest time of the year – with an increase in workload for the volunteer-run organization, and an increase in traffic on the trails.

Not surprisingly, this growth has correlated with the growth of the FTA’s responsibilities. As a volunteer board and registered Charity, the FTA has always had an administrator to support the team. With the management, maintenance and enhancement of trails being the primary focus, as the network expands, so too does the load on the Maintenance & Construction Committee (TM&C). Of late it has been increasingly difficult to manage, and as such, representatives from the TM&C Committee recommended the creation of a Trails Manager position to the Board.

This move closely follows other towns’ trail organizations, allowing the committee to be more efficient, accomplish more projects, and save the FTA money by ensuring policies and procedures are being adhered to.

Having anticipated this position being added to the FTA’s operations, it was budgeted for spring 2020. When Covid-19 took the world by storm and created uncertainty not only for individuals and businesses but charitable organizations too, the FTA applied for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which will lessen the impacts of decreased funding this year, and assist with this pivotal role.

While Ben is already fast up and running in the role, the FTA moved quickly to develop COVID work-safe practices and procedures, to ensure the weekly trail work parties are a safe and respectful environment for the countless amazing volunteers in our community. With a fun-filled season yet to come, anyone interested in getting involved in trail work parties, can reach out to trails@fernietrailsalliance.com for more info. Work parties take place on Wednesday (Downhill), and Thursday (Regular).

To read the full press release, head HERE.

Fernie Fix Article: https://www.ferniefix.com/article/outdoors/new-trail-manager