The Okanagan Rail Trail has a new logo that incorporates the essential elements of the 49-kilometre recreation trail between Kelowna and Coldstream.
It includes symbolic references to the trail’s environment: the Okanagan Valley, the surrounding mountains, its wildlife, trees, beaches, the sky and sun.
“The Okanagan Rail Trail logo encapsulates the many benefits and experiences the trail has to offer its users and communities,” says the official announcement. The containing shape is an ‘O’ representing the Okanagan as well as an oval train track.
“The graphic elements combine in a cohesive way to signify the connection of communities, environment, history, heritage and future of the Okanagan Rail Trail.”
It also reflects the heritage and history of this region.
“The traditional and continuing use of the land by the syilx Okanagan people has created a history that is synonymous with the land. The logo design is inspired by traditional syilx pictographs. Kilowna (grizzly) claws are representative of the traditional syilx name for the Kelowna area.
“Railway ties represent the history of railway that visually transforms into the trail. These two elements work in unison and signify the partnership and the transformation to the Okanagan Rail Trail.
“The trail winds through the mountains/valley, serving as a conduit for recreation, commuting and connecting communities.
“The trail leads the eye through the environment and into the sunny horizon signifying a positive and bright future.”
Several volunteers from the trail-building fundraising society, the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative, have now established a foundational Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail Society, or FORT for short.
FORT is a non-profit society, volunteer-driven, and the official non-government partner to the rail trail owner jurisdictions.
The new organization has adopted the new logo and added the words “Friends of” at the top.
FORT core values are: user experience, environment, inspiration and stewardship which will be accomplished through three main programs: trail ambassadors, trail improvement and fundraising, says the website: okanaganrailtrail.ca.
With the trail construction now fully funded, trail ambassadors have been trained to help with trail operations.
The role of trail ambassadors will be to support the trail user experience, inspire users by sharing information on the trail environment and history, solicit feedback and information from users, be a visible presence on the trail to enhance user safety, report to managing authorities on conditions and issues, and encourage compliance with trail etiquette and rules.