Pathway network completion celebrated

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Island Pathways hosted a joyful thank-you party on Friday, celebrating not only a new section of pathway near Portlock Park but also the completion of the Ganges Village Pathway Network. 

According to Jean Gelwicks, who chairs the Partners Creating Pathways (PCP) committee of Island Pathways, a much larger event had been planned before COVID hit. 

A pathway network has been a desired part of the Salt Spring Island Official Community Plan for years and the various volunteer, government, contractor and other partner groups finally made it happen, she said. 

“Island Pathways takes thanking people seriously,” said Gelwicks, “and we owe thanks to all the people from the past and into the present for their support.” 

An important part of Friday’s celebration was acknowledgement of the Shaw family, whose bequest to the Salt Spring Island Foundation has resulted in the Shaw Family Community Fund and several substantial grants being disbursed from it to the community. The pathway from Portlock Park to the beginning of St. Mark’s cemetery, spearheaded by Island Pathways, received a $100,000 Shaw grant from the foundation. New signage on the pathway by Portlock Park detailing the Shaw family was also unveiled on Friday, as was a commemorative bench built by Island Pathways/PCP member Donald McLennan. 

SSIF chair Brian Lawson also attended Friday’s event. 

“I know you are always thanking us, but we also thank you for having us partner with you. You guys do all the work. We just give out the money.”

Former Capital Regional District director Wayne McIntyre was also on hand at the celebration. He was acknowledged by Gelwicks for contributing $200,000 of Community Works gas tax funding to the pathway in its early stages. 

PCP work crew members were given special thanks by Gelwicks. 

“They are a bunch of no-nonsense, hard-working, positive, dedicated beyond belief, knowledgeable, capable and patient bunch of volunteers.” 

Jean Gelwicks, chair of the Partners Creating Pathways committee of Island Pathways, speaks at the Oct. 1 celebration to mark completion of the Ganges Village Pathway Network and the trail between Central and Baker Road.
Current Salt Spring Island Foundation president Brian Lawson, left, and a past president Kees Ruurs unveil the Shaw family panel, which provides a history of the family that left a substantial bequest to the Salt Spring Island Foundation. The Shaw Family Community Fund provided $100,000 of the funds needed to create the Central to Baker Road off-road pathway.
New panel by the Portlock Park portion of the Central to Baker Road trail. (Photo by Bob MacKie)
Standing, from left, are longtime Island Pathways members Wendy Webb, Philip Grange and Margaretha Nordine, with former CRD director Wayne McIntyre, left, and Gary Lehman, who is both an Island Pathways and SSI Transportation Commission member.
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