As West Coast runners and hikers dream of the spring air blowing passed their ears, lovers of the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails in the Capital Region District (CRD) of Victoria, BC now have the option of carrying one fewer item on their jog - a bottle of water. Thanks to fundraising efforts of the Drop in the Bucket Campaign, and the hard work of CUPE Local 1978 members, water fountains will now be flowing on both popular trails in CRD parks.
The campaign was spearheaded by Tom MacDonald and a group of like minded trail-enthusiasts, many of them amateur runners training on the beautiful regional trails, who thought it would be great if there were fountains along the way.
“We approached the CRD with the idea to install a series of fountains along the Galloping Goose and Lochside,” said MacDonald. “CRD Regional Parks worked with them to realise that goal and agreed to install new water fountains along the trails once fundraising was complete.”
In October 2012, the fundraising mission to raise $54,000 was accomplished with funds donated to the Regional Parks Legacy Program. The first of nine water fountains was installed at the Galloping Goose Atkins Road rest station by CRD Regional Parks staff in November.
The project illustrates the CRD’s commitment to community partnerships and development and to environmental protection and stewardship. The community driven initiative complements the Tap into Sustainability initiative to use reusable water bottles and to drink local tap-water as a way to promote environmentally sustainable behaviour.
“The new fountains offer a sustainable and convenient choice for trail users,” added MacDonald noting that tapping into the quality public water of the CRD is a far better way to rehydrate that than resorting to unnecessary, wasteful and expensive privatised bottled water sources. “Drop in the Bucket has provided a small way for everyone using our parks to make an easy yet important choice to keep both our bodies and our regional ecology running long into the future.”
A recognition plaque on the first fountain is in memory of Tom MacDonald’s father-in-law Dr. Allan (Jimmy) Arneil. Dr. Arneil was the CRD Regional Medical Health Officer from 1974-84 and was an ardent advocate for the Region’s exceptional drinking water.