By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Nov. 23, 2013
If stories are the connective tissue of a community, then a new trail being proposed by a former councillor hopes to be their raconteur.
Former councillor and environmentalist Meg Fellows is proposing a trail she hopes will string our stories in a loop, connecting the tales that make us whole.
The Laughing Turtle trail will invite you to slow down and enjoy nature as it spins the yarns of Squamish.
Similar to Vancouver’s Stanley park sea wall, the proposed Talking Turtle Trail is about 10 kilometers long, a circle route, flat, and beautiful, said Meg Fellows.
“This is a chance for us to knit together the past and present stories of community.” Meg Fellowes
You could walk or bike from the West Coast Railway Heritage Park to the estuary to the Oceanfront, then make your way back along the blind channel and Loggers Lane to the Park.
“It invites us to get out of our cars and be thankful for all that Squamish offers,” she said.
The trail connects well-known buildings with Squamish’s natural assets.
Trail users will experience the Squamish Adventure Center, Brew Pub, Sikh Temple, and the Railway Heritage Park and more.
Gateways from the trail will link users to estuary walking trails, Smoke Bluffs Climbing Park, Mamquam spawning channel trails, and Wind Sports park.
A series of informative kiosks will inform and connect user to the past and present of Squamish.
At Howe Sound Inn, for example, trail users might read about the history of hops production in Squamish—and about the present community garden nearby.
A trail user might stop by the railway park kiosk to read about the rich history of railways—and about the canoes the First Nations have used for transportation historically in Squamish.
“This is a chance for us to knit together the past and present stories of community,” Fellowes said.
While the trail will acquaint a rapidly changing Squamish with local stories, it can also be used as a marketing tool for tourists, she added.
Fellowes said turtle patience is needed to realise the dream of this trail.
A variety of local community groups, from historical and trails Society to Rotary Club, Chamber, and district, need to be involved in this community project.
The writing of a development plan detailing building materials and way signs, cost and timelines, funders and regulators, needs to be done.
“There is a lot of work to be done, but if the idea is worthwhile, it will grow legs and go somewhere,” Fellowes said.