A group of young Pentictonites took to the trails with garbage bags in hand to clean up one of their favourite spots and honour a friend’s memory.
Penticton woman Petra Höller recruited her friends via Facebook and organized the clean up of the Esplanade Trail Network, colloquially known as the Hobo Trails, where she often goes to write, hang out with friends and enjoy nature.
“The Hobos are a seemingly forgotten corner of our waterfront, while it makes it peaceful it also makes it quite vulnerable,” Höller said.
She set out with the help of her friends to clear the area of the debris left in the area notorious for hosting squatters and makeshift campsites.
“This summer is the worst that I can remember seeing it. I decided that I owed it to the trails, as a gesture of gratitude for all the memories that it hosted, to organize a clean-up,” Höller said.
The clean-up project was also dedicated to a dear friend of Höller’s and many others who came out to lend a hand, Carson Ruhland, a much-loved Oliver musician who died last year in a single motor vehicle incident between Peachland and West Kelowna.
Höller said Ruhland created many memories with her and her friends on the trails.
“He is deeply missed in our community and continues to inspire us,” Höller said. “I am very proud of my friends for turning out to help. There was no hesitation. They embraced the idea with enthusiasm right away and all worked incredibly hard.”
“In a way, the disregard of the trails is what makes them so special, but that means that those who take advantage of that must also take on the responsibility of maintaining them,” she added.