The Shuswap Trail Alliance’s Lori Schneider Wood, centre, receives help from Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus students in decommissioning a trail in Salmon Arm’s Pileated Woods park. (File photo)

The Shuswap Trail Alliance’s Lori Schneider Wood, centre, receives help from Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus students in decommissioning a trail in Salmon Arm’s Pileated Woods park. (File photo)

Shuswap trails trailblazers to be honoured

Shuswap Trail Alliance to pay tribute to Phil McIntyre-Paul and Lori Schneider Wood

If over the past year you were among the many who hiked the Shuswap’s numerous trails, you are aware of the legacy Phil McIntyre-Paul and Lori Schneider Wood helped to create for the region.

The two Shuswap Trail Alliance (STA) co-founders will be honoured at the STA board’s May 18th annual general meeting.

After 15 years of guiding the organization, McIntyre-Paul, will be stepping down as the STA’s executive director, with associate director Jen Bellhouse taking over the role as of June 1. McIntyre-Paul will continue working with the trail alliance, both on projects and in and advisory/mentoring role.

“Essentially what we’re doing is freeing up my time from all of the day to day running of the organization to allow me to focus on specific projects,” said McIntyre-Paul.

In January 2020, two months after Bellhouse was hired as associate director, Schneider Wood, the STA’s business co-ordinator (and longtime trail champion), sustained an injury that required her to go on leave.

“Lori really ran the day-to-day business of the Shuswap Trail Alliance…,” said Bellhouse. “She is now into the second year of her recovery and doing well, but it has been hard. 2020 really was quite a year of transitions for us.”

Despite the uncertainty of the past year, several new grants and a very well supported online version of the annual Shuswap Trails fundraiser in February, along with unprecedented trail usage over the past year, have allowed STA leadership to keep the momentum going.

Read more: Volunteers step up during pandemic to work on Shuswap trails

Read more: Shuswap trails benefit from $100,000 grant

“Preparations are well underway for another season supporting trail stewardship, planning, new construction, trail maintenance, and all the other ways we help regional partners take better care of the land,” said Bellhouse. “So we are well on track for this next step.”

Phil said with Bellhouse the Shuswap Trail Alliance is in good hands, and he is pleased to see new faces take on leadership roles within the organization.

“There needs to be succession, the organization needs to be able to bring in new leadership and it also needs to be in a position to be able to do that,” said McIntyre-Paul, explaining that new people and ideas keeps an organization from becoming vulnerable.

For more information on Shuswap Trails, the Shuswap Trail Alliance and the upcoming AGM, visit www.shuswaptrails.com. Also, be sure to check out the upcoming exhibit at the Salmon Arm Arts Centre featuring the alpine paintings of Lisa Figueroa and accompanying audio reflections by McIntyre-Paul.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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Shuswap Trail Alliance co-founder and executive director, Phil McIntyre-Paul (red shirt), seen here at a volunteer trail day in 2007 working on the Larch Hills Traverse between Salmon Arm and Sicamous, will hand over executive director responsibilities to Jen Bellhouse on June 1st and assume a new role as Senior Consultant on trail projects. (Ian Clay photo)

Shuswap Trail Alliance co-founder and executive director, Phil McIntyre-Paul (red shirt), seen here at a volunteer trail day in 2007 working on the Larch Hills Traverse between Salmon Arm and Sicamous, will hand over executive director responsibilities to Jen Bellhouse on June 1st and assume a new role as Senior Consultant on trail projects. (Ian Clay photo)