The Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club (NMBC) is proud to announce the creation of their first-ever Winter Trail Crew. With funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement via a Community Workforce Response Grant, Youth Community Partnership stream, the NMBC established an employment training program for youth between the ages of 15-29 to gain valuable employment skills through trail maintenance.
The program has created nine new full-time jobs for youth who were unemployed, underemployed, or precariously employed. Through hands-on training, participants will gain over 450 hours of direct trail building experience alongside certificates in WHMIS, Occupational First Aid, and Foundations of Sustainable Trails. Additionally, each participant will work with an employment coach to help secure lasting employment, beyond the end date of the program, to set them up for long-term success.
In addition to creating opportunities for youth, it also fills a great need for skilled maintenance on the trails managed by the NMBC, which has a mandate to bring every trail under its purview up to Whistler Trail Standards to ensure their safety and sustainability. Many of NMBC’s trails are located on private managed forest lands managed by Mosaic Forest Management, and built and maintained through an access partnership agreement between Mosaic and NMBC.
The Winter Trail Crew has already begun work on the trails managed by the NMBC, and the project is expected to run until March 31, 2021. Work will be primarily conducted on trails managed by the NMBC at Doumont, Westwood, and along the Outer Bypass.
Dana Wacker, President of the NMBC says “The NMBC is thrilled to work with these youth over the months ahead, and we are very grateful to the provincial government for their financial support to make this program possible. The benefits to our community are two-fold: not only will trail users enjoy better, safer, and more sustainably built trails, but these youth will also have an opportunity to learn a variety of skills in a fun and supportive outdoor environment.”
“Partnerships to provide safe, responsible recreational access to Mosaic’s private managed forest lands are a core element of our community program,” said Mosaic Director Sustainability, Molly Hudson. “We are pleased to see that the success of our partnership with NMBC will provide an opportunity for youth training opportunities, and want to recognize the leadership of NMBC in making this training program a reality.”