One Mile Lake boardwalk being cleared this winter 

Pemberton pilot project promotes health and well-being

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOEL BARDE - open for business An area entrepreneur led an initiative to plow the One Mile Lake boardwalk this winter and says that initiative has been well received.
  • Photo by Joel Barde
  • open for business An area entrepreneur led an initiative to plow the One Mile Lake boardwalk this winter and says that initiative has been well received.

The One Mile Lake boardwalk and Friendship Trail are being cleared this year thanks to a trial program between local government and an enterprising Pemberton Valley resident.

Dani Schranz has been getting up early this winter, plowing the walkways, along with a stretch of the Valley Loop East trail.

Schranz initiated the project, which he said he feels is of great benefit to the community.

"This year was the pilot project," he said, adding that he's received positive response so far.

"For public health and mental health, it's crucial that we can go out in the winter."

Schranz said that he sees the service as helping to promote a "healthy routine" for Pemberton residents.

Carrying out the work with Tesfaalem Gebremariam Goitom, Schranz said this year has been a learning process.

He recently cleared the snow at around 9 a.m. at the One Mile Lake boardwalk, only to find out that people had already walked the path, making it difficult to plow, he explained.

"A lot of people go there in the morning, so we should go at 5 a.m. before anybody else goes," he said.

Village of Pemberton (VOP) Mayor Mike Richman said that the initiative has been "very, very well received by community members."

Schranz is receiving a small stipend from the VOP to carry out the One Mile Lake initiative, and a small stipend from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) to plow the Friendship Trail, said Richman, adding that there has long been a desire to see the boardwalk plowed, but that VOP staff doesn't have the capacity to do so, as it must focus on other, high-priority areas after major snowfalls.

Richman did not recall the precise amount Schranz was receiving for the One Mile Lake job, but "suffice to say, Dani is doing a lot of it out of the goodness of his heart," he said, appreciatively.

"I don't know how many hours he's put into it so far this winter," he said.

"We'll have a look at it at the end of the season. But he's put a good deal of time in.

"Yeah, a big thank you to him and his crew."

The arrangement, added Richman, will allow local government to gauge how much use the trails receive.

Asked if the plowing project was something that the VOP would support in the long term, Richman said that council would consider this at a later date.

"It's definitely going to be a consideration," said Richman. "Like anything else, it's budget driven."

"I think at the end of the season we're going to look at how much time was put in and therefore how much it would cost, and we'll look at how much usage it got,' he said.

"And within the context of the budget we will decide if this is a good use of taxpayer money."

Schranz said that he hopes to receive the funding to continue to carry out the project in future years.

He believes that over time, more and more people will enjoy the plowed trails.

"I think we have to do it for five years, because it needs to change people's culture," he said.

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