The College of New Caledonia’s (CNC) Mackenzie campus is helping to enhance the recreational trails in the Mackenzie area and mitigate forest fire risk through a new WorkBC Job Creation Partnership, funded through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
CNC Mackenzie and the WorkBC Mackenzie Employment Services Centre were seeking a project that would benefit the trail building initiative recently implemented by the District of Mackenzie.
The partnership supports funding to organizations and provides community benefit while creating jobs to assist unemployed EI eligible clients with opportunities to gain meaningful work experience.
Through this, CNC Mackenzie, WorkBC and the District assisted with the Mackenzie Outdoor Route and Trail Association’s (MORATA) Recreational Forest Fire Mitigation and Community Trail Enhancement Job Creation Partnership project.
CNC Mackenzie supported the project by providing Short Term Occupational Certificate training to seven participants as well as administrative support to MORATA.
“We’re proud to be part of a project improving the community and its members,” said CNC Mackenzie Regional Principal Shannon Bezo, in a news release. “We hope to offer the Trail Building and Maintenance program next spring.”
MORATA launched its project in response to recent forest fires supporting the mitigation of fuel in the recreation areas it oversees.
“The participants have benefited from this program by obtaining various tickets, practical work experience, and references from the supervisors for both future employment and university applications,” said crew lead Rudy Klaue. “The trails in Mackenzie are in the best shape they have been in for years and these improvements the JCP participants have done will encourage more use.”
The District of Mackenzie has been working to improve, promote and create a trail system in the community for many years, with an increased focus over the past two years. With the help of volunteers in the community, and grants from Northern Development Initiative Trust, there has been a lot of activity around the trail system in Mackenzie.
“This project has tied a few extremely important priorities, such as community safety, forest fuel mitigation, tourism, trail and recreation development, together in a way that accomplishes some of the goals quicker than we could have done without this project,” said Mackenzie Mayor Pat Crook.
Work BC advisor Cindy Szekely has seen huge benefits since the project launched.
“The participates have benefitted by receiving new outdoor safety skills and training, work experience, and the development of a hard work ethic but also building self-esteem and self-worth and taking pride in a job well done,” she said. “MORATA has benefitted from doing work that will leave a lasting legacy while Mackenzie, as a town, gets some great trails out of this project.