The Ribbons of Green Trails Society and Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail are calling on the Regional District of North Okanagan to install two chemical toilets at Kekuli Bay to serve Okanagan Rail Trail users. (File)

The Ribbons of Green Trails Society and Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail are calling on the Regional District of North Okanagan to install two chemical toilets at Kekuli Bay to serve Okanagan Rail Trail users. (File)

Advocacy group calls for more toilets on Okanagan Rail Trail

Vernon trails society calls for two toilets between Coldstream and Lake Country for rail trail users

When nature calls while traversing the Okanagan Rail Trail in the middle of winter, trail users between Coldstream and Lake Country are finding themselves in a bit of pickle.

There’s nowhere to go.

Two groups are calling on the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) to install some year-round toilets and they said it’s urgent.

“Regrettably trail users are finding it necessary to relieve themselves either off the trail or behind the closed toilets at Kekuli Bay Park,” Ribbons of Green Trails Society president Harold Sellers writes to the RDNO.

“Not only is this bad for public health, but it is detrimental to the environment and particularly the water quality of the lake,” Sellars writes. “Of course, there is harm to the personal dignity of those who must do what they must do.”

As the rail trail continues to grow in its popularity as a four-seasons commodity, the Ribbons of Green Trails Society urges the RDNO partner with BC Parks and put two chemical toilets at Kekuli Bay.

Their request is echoed by Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail who wrote to the RDNO in support for the call.

“A common complaint heard by Trail Ambassadors is the lack of facilities between the Westkal access and Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, a distance of seven kilometres,” writes chairman Toby Frisk. “This is particularly important for hikers and particularly urgent in the winter months where use continues to be heavy and the toilets at Kekuli are closed for the season.”

The issue is up for discussion at the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

READ MORE: Police dog helps nab prolific Enderby offender

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Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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