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Ken Umbarger has transformed the Okanagan Trail Riders Association with his dedication and vision. His belief in what "should be", for an active group of recreational adults, has permanently raised the future expectations of all club members.



“Signs of Change”

Pride would best describe how I feel about the OTRA and the positive changes we have begun to forge from a furnace of adversity and conflict. On October 3rd 2008 our group was finally given Government approval to begin construction on the “Demonstration Phase” of our Bear Creek trail system.

This phase is the significant start of what we trust will some day be the largest offroad riding network in the Province and a model of success for many other managed areas. The completion of Phase one will serve notice to off-road enthusiasts and other stakeholders of Bear Creek that OTRA can be trusted to perform on our promises. It marks a dramatic change in practices that is
much more considerate of all user groups. I could not be prouder of the efforts and commitment of a few people that got us here and would ask you to join me in recognizing some of them. Firstly, our consultants Dick and Joani Dufourd of Rec Connect deserve a standing ovation. There can be no doubt that Dick and Joani’s leadership and well rounded expertise in every area from collaboration, conceptual planning, design, project management, etc. is invaluable. We could not succeed without them.

Personally I am always grateful for their moral support and passion for a shared vision of Bear Creek. Thanks Dick and Joani!!

Speaking of leadership and passion, no one deserves more recognition this year than Executive member Carol Boyd. Carol picked up the ball on countless occasions from developing project work policies/ procedures/training/accounting, managing memberships and spearheading general meetings just to name a few.

When it comes to energy my comrade and Vice President Adrian Van Nieuwkerk as always comes up with something new and moral boosting. This year was no exception with Adrian’s great MOVIE NIGHT adventure. Some 300 people turned out to the Grand 10 theatre and we all had a blast. You’re a great friend and inspiration Adrian! Another good friend who we owe thanks is long time member Terry Burke. Terry was our “Purchasing Agent” this year which was no small job. Our club acquired some $150,000 dollars worth of equipment and Terry researched, negotiated, and eventually drove to San Francisco to pick it up and deliver it. Then he organized for the licensing, insurance, storage and maintenance of these valuable tools.

This year saw a dream come true for Terry when he finally got to build trail on the new Sweco dozer. Nobody has worked harder for our sport over the decades than Terry.

The Okanagan Trail Riders need folks like you, that have an interest in the future of our Bear Creek Riding area, to become involved in the potential and success of our sport. So much is going on at Bear Creek and so few people are aware of the process including decision making, government plans and committees – we need your help and more importantly, we need you direction,
suggestions and outlook for the future of Bear Creek.

If you have a few hours a week you can spare for volunteering in a multitude of capacities, please contact . Our future relies on input from our members – it’s never to late to get involved.

Ken Umbarger,

  Previous Rambles:

August 2006

January 2006

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