After years of accumulating cash for trail projects, the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) opened the vault this year to put more than $70,000 into Whistler’s trail network, as well as an unprecedented 590 volunteer hours over a series of trail days and maintenance nights worth more than $10,000.
That work is visible on dozens of trails, according to trail director Jerome David who is returning for his third year in the position, and was a major focus for Whistler this year. David and WORCA’s other directors made presentations at the association’s annual general meeting last week, with growth in almost all areas.
“We were ambitious with our goals this year but we got a lot of things accomplished,” said WORCA president Todd Hellinga, who is returning for his second year as the WORCA board’s top executive. “I think the board did an outstanding job, and went above and beyond the call of duty. Also, our volunteers were once again the lifeblood of the club, and the reason why WORCA is as successful as it is.”
According to Hellinga, the $70,000 in trail spending included some funding that was earmarked for specific projects, including highway construction and the Rainbow development. However, with those projects on hiatus until they are completed, the board decided to start spending other cash reserves on trail projects around the valley.
“We thought it was time to act out here and put funds to bringing our trails up to standard. I think our trail contractors, Chris Markle and Dave Fortier, really pushed the standard of trail-making this year, as did Eric Barry on the projects he has been working on.”
As well as focusing more funding on trails, WORCA also hired an executive director this year to help volunteer directors handle their growing workloads. Next year Hellinga said the board will find new ways to utilize the executive director to help out directors, and specifically the Director of Race position in charge of organizing 22 Loonie Races and other events.
A sub-committee was also created this year to help WORCA celebrate its 20 th anniversary next year, and all the ways that the club has grown.
After his opening remarks, Hellinga opened the floor to the other directors:
Director of Planning
Guy Patterson has been working with other stakeholders to ensure that trails are represented and to get compensation for lost trails from developers, as well as sitting on groups like the Whistler Cycling Committee and Whistler 2020 task force on transportation. WORCA’s policy is for no net loss of trails.