ITCHY FEET CONCLUDES WITH MONKMAN EVENING

The Itchy Feet series concluded with a presentation on the Monkman Pass Memorial Trail by the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society and Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation. This volunteer-driven local initiative has major implications for tourism, heritage, and recreation in the region. It comprises two parts: a driving tour with 48 points of interest from Grande Prairie to Kinuseo Falls via Tumbler Ridge, and a six day hiking trail from Kinuseo Falls over the Rockies via the old Monkman Pass route. The driving tour has been officially opened, and is continually under development. The hiking route should be completed by the end of this summer.

In a fast-moving evening attended by just under 100 people, there were many presentations and speakers. Charles Helm showed pictures of the driving tour, followed by Kreg Alde on the hiking route. Kevin Sharman has explored the big peaks in Monkman Provincial park more than anyone else, and shared some of his fantastic photos with the audience. Rob Bressette spoke of the support of the project from BC parks, and Tim Bennett did the same from the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Arts. Janet Hartford brought Monkman history alive with her description of what it was like during getting to Kinuseo Falls and Monkman Lake in the late 1930s. Lindsey Vandale summarized the marketing support that she and Ray Proulx are providing from the District of Tumbler Ridge. Rich McCrea described BC?s first tyrannosaurid footprint, which was recently discovered close to the route. A replica of this print was on display, and will form a field exhibit at the Redwillow Forest recreation site.

Bob Norman, Library Board Chairperson , summarized that this was a wonderful way to conclude an incredibly successful Itchy Feet season, and commented on how Itchy Feet was being viewed as a model for other communities to follow. He concluded that while the past was being celebrated through the Monkman Pass Memorial Trail, and the present provided great excitement through the creation of this product, an initiative like this actually represents the long term future of Tumbler Ridge.