Trail stewards carry on family tradition

The late Michael Doyle incited environmental responsibility on the next generation of family members

Blake Verkerk poses beside some tires he and his uncle removed from the south Kaleden shoreline.

Blake Verkerk poses beside some tires he and his uncle removed from the south Kaleden shoreline.

Michael Doyle, a Kaleden resident who died last year, was well known in the community for his dedication to the Kettle Valley Trail. He spent many years acting as unofficial custodian for the section running through the south end of Kaleden, providing waste receptacles and regularly picking up garbage along the trail.

In 2003, Doyle was largely responsible for the clean up of a former dump site located approximately one kilometre south of Ponderosa Point. He assisted in the removal of an old truck chassis and several tires from the Skaha Lake shoreline as well.

Earlier this month, Doyle’s son Kevin Doyle, along with Kevin’s nephew Blake Verkerk, carried on the tradition, when son Kevin discovered two more tires in the lake.

“My uncle spotted the two tires and we went to pick them up,” explained 11 year old Blake, “one of them was pretty big  and stuck in the mud – we needed to use the golf cart pick them up.”

Verkerk and his uncle tied a rope around the stubborn tire and dragged it out of the mud. They also spotted a few more tires, located in waist deep or shallower water offshore.

“We’re trying to follow “Poppi’s” path, as trail stewards,”  Verkerk added.

“It was an action true to dad’s spirit,” said Verkerk’s mother. “The kids are aware of dad’s work, and the next generation is carrying on with it.”

Some of the tires had been deposited in the lake since Doyle’s previous effort.

The Old Kaleden Road runs parallel to the lake above the trail south of Oak Avenue in Kaleden, and appears to continue to be a location for illegal dumping.