WORCA celebrates turnaround year for organization 

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Horn said he had four main objectives as president this year, and thanks to the other volunteer directors, significant progress has been made in each one.

His first goal was to increase membership to past levels. In 1999, the group had almost a thousand members, but just 589 in 2000 and 583 in 2001.

"It dropped and there were a lot of reasons for that. We looked at those reasons, came up with ideas – special thanks have to go to Whistler-Blackcomb – and we boosted members to 1,035," said Horn.

His second goal was to get a Section 102 for Chris Markle’s trail in progress, two sections of which, tentatively called North Secret Trail and Foreplay, are already completed.

WORCA past president Keith Bennett, who is also the manager of parks operations for the municipality, was instrumental in getting a valid Section 102 for the trail, which could be completed next summer or as late as summer of 2004.

"You can’t rush Leondardo da Vinci," said Horn, referring to Markle’s trail building skills.

The new trail is also being made possible by Duane Jackson and Bill Kunzweiler, the developers of the B.C. Rail Lands off of Alta Lake Road. They gave Markle $10,000 to build the trail, to compensate for the loss of trails on Whistler’s west side.

To connect the two trails, the municipality is also donating the funds to build a bridge over Wedge Creek.

"I’d like to see more things happen in the future where we work with developers and the municipality to make thing like this happen," said Horn.

The third goal was to build a mountain bike skills park in the Rainbow Park area. The approval recently came through from B.C. Hydro, which has the right of way in the area that was chosen, and the space will be cleared this fall, and the stunts and obstacles will be built in the spring.

The last thing on Horn’s list was to increase numbers at WORCA’s youth programs. He credited the work of WORCA youth director Mark Beaton for getting the word out, and for higher youth attendance at dirt camps and Loonie races.

While he acknowledged that there was still a long way to go towards recruiting youth, Horn felt WORCA is on the right path in that regard.

As for the almost $12,000 remaining, WORCA plans to put more of that money towards various program with an emphasis on trail work.

"There’s no reason we couldn’t double the amount of money for trail maintenance if we keep seeing the same kind of membership and sponsorship in the future," said Horn.

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