The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) has announced that ‘significant’ private and public funds have been secured to further develop the Sea to Sky Trail. Chip Wilson’s “The Wilson 5 Foundation”, is contributing $1,370,000 to the project – the most significant private Sea to Sky Trail donation to date.
The Wilson 5 Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation that focusses on funding land conservancy, park creation and sharing public art in British Columbia. “The Wilson 5 Foundation is excited to help make the Sea to Sky Trail a reality for today and for future generations,” said Chip Wilson, co-founder of the Wilson 5 Foundation and founder of lululemon athletica.
The Wilson 5 Foundation contribution augments nearly $700,000 grant funding from the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation’s Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program announced in April.
The Sea to Sky Trail work will begin this summer. Construction on a nine-kilometre section between Gord’s Garden and Nairn Falls is expected to be completed by April 2024. Engineering and design work will also take place on a four-kilometre area along the Sea to Sky Highway between the Paradise Valley – Cheakamus Canyon section and Chance Creek – Pinecrest Estates section.
The Sea to Sky Trail runs 126 kilometres between Squamish and D’Arcy, and the new construction will add another 9 kilometres to the trail. Parts of the trail around Whistler, Squamish, and Pemberton, including the Valley Trail and Squamish Corridor Trail, and Pemberton Highway 99 Trail, are maintained year-round with snow-clearing and debris removal for pedestrian access.
“We are extremely grateful to the Province of B.C. and the Wilson 5 Foundation for these generous contributions to the Sea to Sky Trail project,” said SLRD Board Chair, Jen Ford. “The Sea to Sky Trail is an iconic crown jewel of the SLRD,” she said. “We are thrilled that these contributions will help to further develop this extensive, multi-use trail that provides breathtaking recreational access while connecting our communities in the region.”