The Nass Valley village of Gingolx will use a $100,000 provincial grant for the Signature Trails & Campground Enhancement Initiative, developing five kilometres of nature trails for hiking, trail running and mountain biking.
“Everything sort of ties in together in making a healthy community long term,” said Neal Barton, director of programs and services for Gingolx.
“Tourism is important because its a way to help give an opportunity to community members to start businesses.”
The trails strategy will be prepared by the Indigenous Youth Mountain Bike Program (IYMBP) and First Journey Trails, two organizations that work with First Nations in B.C. to develop trails. This is the third year the organizations have done work creating and maintaining trails with the Village of Gingolx.
The project will create new trails and upgrade the Lookout Trail on the bluffs above the village.
“Gingolx is beautiful location with spectacular terrain and opportunities for recreation tourism,” said Patrick Lucas, IYMBP director in a news release.
“Trails are a powerful travel motivator with the potential to attract visitors from around the world. These new trails will fully establish Gingolx as a world class destination.”
Also, the initiative includes a feasibility study on possible upgrades to the campground. Those could include amenities for recreational vehicles like power, sewer and water plus bathrooms at the site.
Barton said that the study is important because it will ensure Gingolx is ready to act when more funding becomes available.
The feasibility study will also consider a new small breakwater. Barton said a larger breakwater is also needed but is not included in the study.
“Our smaller breakwater needs a lot of work, right now it’s not being developed. There’s such potential and opportunity for a breakwater that could be used for the smaller boats and as far as our bigger breakwater, it’s too small and we are hoping to get a larger breakwater in the future.”
Local youth and community members will have access to training and employment through the initiative, both in the construction and maintenance of trails and new tourism ventures arising from the project.
The project is slated to be completed by the fall, and there will be further development and construction in 2021. All work will be done in accordance with COVID-19 precautions.
The provincial government is giving out $14 million in grants to more than 150 projects in rural communities. First Nations, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations were all eligible for grant funding.
In total, around $5 million is going towards 39 trail and recreation projects, while almost $9 million will support 114 projects focused on rural community development.
Gingolx is one of the four Nisga’a villages in the Nass Valley and is the most westerly village, located near the mouth of the Nass River.