Trail entered the Communities in Bloom program in 2002 in an effort to improve the city’s esthetics and overcome its industrial-town image. It’s been a long tough battle the whole way. Yet, we won the provincial title (2004) and two national titles (2006 and 2010) and the International (2015) plus the Butchart Gardens Reclamation Award (2010), Capital Region Floral Awards (2012), the CiB Community Achievement Award for Landscape (2014), the Community Involvement Award (2016) and the Youth Involvement Award (2017).
Our town is a diverse city built around the mining industry in southern B.C.’s interior mountains. The huge Teck Metals Ltd. smelter complex dwarfs the town and provides a steady income in the industrial sector.
Trail cherishes its multi-cultural, mostly Italian, heritage, love for sports and location along the Columbia River.
Gyro Park is our showcase featuring a water park, gazebo for summer concerts and much-used beach.
Festivals include May’s Silver City Days with parade, street entertainment, Italian entertainment (Grape Stomp competition) and a pageant to select a youth ambassador.
Other festivals include: the Healthy Lifestyles Expo, Piazza Day, the Kootenay Smoke ‘n Steel car show weekend, plus weekly Music in the Park at Gyro and Farmer’s Markets along the Esplanade. In the fall, Spooktacular is a Halloween celebration, and in winter, we decorate the town with lights and host Silver City Nite, (started by Trail CiB), which brings people downtown to celebrate the holiday season with a candy parade and choral fest. In addition, we have hills to climb, trails to explore, a river for fishing, boating and swimming and there doesn’t seem to be a week go by that isn’t filled with special events, concerts, plays, markets, sporting events and things to do with kids.
Our most popular event in the past couple of years has been Junior League hockey games. Our iconic Trail Smoke Eaters compete in the BCHL and managed to fill the arena (between 2000 and 3000 people) at every game.
Major projects taken on by the City of Trail this past year:
• In 2017, a new pedestrian bridge opened: the longest suspension bridge of its kind in North America. The bridge has an environmental component as it holds a new sewage pipeline, which replaces the older one when the old bridge was condemned.
• In April 2018, we opened the new Riverfront Centre which houses the new library, museum and archives. This integrated design is probably the first of its kind in Canada.
• A new terminal building was opened in the fall of 2017 at the Trail Regional Airport.
In recent years, CiB initiated several projects:
• Historical Murals depicting events in Trail’s past. Also historical plaques and interpretive signs for some of the city’s iconic buildings and landmarks.
• Avenue of the Clans – banners depicting family tartans of early Scottish settlers displayed on lamp posts along the walkway through Gyro Park. People with Scottish heritage purchased banners depicting their own family tartans.
• The new White Garden along the riverfront is being developed by volunteers to mimic Sissinghurst’s White Garden in Kent, England. The project is taking several years to purchase, plant and develop plants and trees which will bloom white at various times of the year. It has involved a number of businesses plus dozens of volunteers to design, plant and maintain the beds.
• Going into its fifth year is the IncredEDIBLE Green Route – local businesses created a “walking” community garden” using pots and planters outside their businesses so people can wander along and pick veggies, berries or spices from any of the “gardens” on the green route. Much of the produce was grown for the Food Bank. The group holds a number of mini-festivals throughout the summer, started its own public market last year and has taken over the organization of a popular garden and art tour (June 23).
• The same sub-committee within CiB that started the Green Route also started a Community Garden across the street from the Salvation Army Food Bank, specifically to help feed low-income families.
• CiB also sponsors several “show garden beds” throughout town, along the river, in some neighbourhoods and at the entry to the city. These, and the 200 pots are planted by volunteers. We also purchase and install 153 hanging baskets.
• We have four active Adopt-a-Highway groups. Also, because of the hillside/mountainous nature of our city, we have lots of covered public staircases. We now have a number of sponsors who keep these staircases clean and free of graffiti and debris. As Trail celebrates its 15th year in the CiB program, we also count graffiti removal, environmental improvements, urban forestry and tidiness (Adopt-a-Highway and Adopt-a-Stairway) initiatives as part of our program.
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