Nicole Vaugeois

Alberni’s ‘can-do’ attitude bodes well for trails: consultant

Alberni's new active transportation focus is good news, say consultants.

City hall hosted a larger crowd than usual on Tuesday, Nov. 4 for a presentation on “Moving forward on Active Transportation and Trail Networks.”

The presentation, organized by city economic manager Pat Deakin, featured Laurel Sliskovic from Sociable Scientists Inc. and Nicole Vaugeois, co-director for the World Leisure Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation at Vancouver Island University.

They brought with them a class of Sustainable Leisure Management graduate students from Vancouver Island University (VIU), who spent the day going over the city’s recent Sustainability Report and Active Transportation Plan with city manager Ken Watson, city engineer Guy Cicon and Parks, Recreation and Heritage director Scott Kenny.

Sliskovic’s presentation focused on the importance of making the city and the regional district more accessible and affordable.

Vaugeois spoke to the importance trails and amenities present in attacting tourists, residents and investors to the region. She lauded the city’s recently released Active Transportation Plan, calling it a “very progressive thing” that was just one element of the city’s “pioneering can-do spirit.”

While the city and the regional district have an expansive network of trails, Vaugeois considers properly marketing the trail, to both locals and potential investors, to be key in attracting new residents and retaining locals.

According to Deakin, the city is working on improving their marketing of local trails.

“For the trails that cross private land we’re in discussion with the private land owners about how we can go about marketing the trails responsibly in a way that doesn’t affect their interests…“We’ve got a really good collection of trails so we’re working on it.”

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