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This year he negotiated a $15,000 grant from Telus, which built a service road through a section of the Green Lake Loop for a new cell tower, and met with First Nations planners who are developing the Alpine North lands.
He also promoted a new program called Ride 2 Ride, which encourages Loonie race participants to bike to the start of races instead of driving. He plans to expand the program next year, and reward riders for the extra mileage.
On the strategy front, Patterson convened a group of riders with years of experience to discuss the trail network, and guide the way that WORCA spends its trail budget in the future. That includes improving the connectivity and sustainability of trails.
As well, Patterson has drafted operational guidelines for Whistler’s growing number of commercial operators, encouraging them to build trails, work on existing trails, participate in volunteer trail projects, and/or give WORCA money to maintain they trails they’re using.
“Money is the last thing we want,” said Patterson. “All of those other things are more important for us when it comes to managing our trails as a resource.”
Patterson is returning for another year as Director of Planning.
Director of Youth
Sean Bickerton gave credit to previous youth director Greg McDonnell for stepping up the youth program, as youth membership grew to almost 150 kids this year.
WORCA’s annual bike swap raised $14,000 for youth programs, including the dirt camps, youth Loonie nights, high school team, scholarships, and Lumpy’s Award bursaries.
The dirt camps were particularly strong for WORCA this year, growing from three weeks in 2006 to six weeks in 2007, and to eight weeks in 2008. They also increased the number of coaches by 50 per cent, increasing camp participation from 124 kids to 232. The price was increased to $150 per week, which almost covered the cost of the camps.
Bickerton says the pieces are in place to run the program next year, with the executive director handling registration and an improved online registration.
“We’ve grown the camps a lot in a short time, and accommodated as many parents as possible,” said Bickerton. “We will focus more on the younger kids aged six to nine, and look at the schedule so kids that want to participate in more than one camp can do so, and have some continuity from week to week. All the pieces are there, and I expect this to get better every year until it runs itself.”