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Feb 7th 2014
February Newsletter
Dear Supporter of the Nanaimo Region Rail Trail, 

Thank you for your interest in the NRRT! In this inaugural newsletter, we will include recent news about our regions progress on the trail, a fundraising update, as well as next steps for the Rail Trail Partnership and some ways you can help move the trail forward.

Gas Tax Money to Help Fund the E&N Trail
23 million dollars in federal gas tax funds will benefit 8 local infrastructure projects including the E&N Trail. $2.6 million has been earmarked to support the construction of 10 kilometres of trail in the Oceanside area. The planned trail will connect Coombs and Parksville, then head out towards French Creek. We applaud the Regional District board and staff on their successful application for funding and their foresight in allocating the funds to such a worthwhile project.

$15k Allocated to NRRTP by RDN
On January 28th, the Regional District of Nanaimo board voted to grant the Nanaimo Region Rail Trail Partnership $15,000 for promoting and funding the trail. This decision shows a great deal of vision on the part of the board members. It is encouraging to see such tremendous support and we look forward to seeing the impact these funds will have over time.

Next Nanaimo Section Determined by the Nanaimo Region Rail Trail Partnership 
The City of Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Region Rail Trail Partnership have met to discuss the best way to expand the trail through the city of Nanaimo. Currently the trail extends about 8 kilometres in the city of Nanaimo and all funds raised so far have been earmarked to be spent within the city of Nanaimo.
In our fall cycling information event held at Fibber Magees, we circulated a survey asking the cycling community which sections of trail they would like to prioritize. The Downtown area was identified as the top priority. The most recent significant section of trail was built behind the train station between Fitzwilliam and Franklyn. Because of the potential development south of the station, we have selected to investigate the feasibility of extending the rail trail south, from Franklyn to Albert Street, and eventually out to 5th Street. Final cost estimates, surveying, and traffic options are all underway.

Fundraising Update 
Our fundraising campaign has not officially started, but already we have begun gathering some seed money to be used to launch the campaign and begin some required surveying/engineering for priority sections. We would like to thank Tourism Nanaimo for a grant of $20,000 and the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association (DNBIA) for contributions to date of $15,000. Most recently, we received a $15,000 grant from the Regional District of Nanaimo, mentioned above. We are also happy to announce a donation from Integral Wealth Securities of $15,000, and in-kind donations of photography services from Dirk at HA Photography.
A special thank you to Array Studios who have donated $20,000 of web and design services. They have done a great job designing our logo, making this newsletter template, creating the branding for our social media accounts, and guiding us along the way. Soon, we'll be sharing with you a truly amazing website that is currently under production. The Partnership recently got our first personal donations and would like to thank Daniel Martinez and Patricia Hofstrand for their generous support.

Nanaimo Region Rail Trail Partnership Next Steps
Our social media accounts are now active and our online donation page is ready to accept donations and issue tax receipts. Array Studios has completed the design of the website and it has gone to production. We will soon be launching our website at a fundraising event for the trail, inviting all regional partners and members of the public. This kick-off event will be held on Tuesday, February 25th, from 4-6 PM at the Nanaimo Golf Club. We hope to see you in attendance.

We are completing our corporate sponsorship package for distribution. If you are interested in receiving a copy, please e-mail us at info@nanaimoregionrailtrail.com.

The NRRT Partnership has also indentified some grants due in the winter and fall to which we are planning to submit applications. The NRRT is working on making our priority sections of trail ready and hope to begin construction by the end of 2014.

How can you help? 
1) Donate! Although our website is not yet up, donations are possible through the Canada Helps website, whose link is below. Donations can be made in small monthly amounts or in lump sums. All donations give you a charitable tax receipt and you can choose to donate to the section of trail in your community, subject to up 10% going to the general fundraising efforts.
https://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?charityID=s87746
For larger donations please contact us directly to avoid processing fees.

2) Follow us on social media. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to spread the word.

3) Help us fundraise and spread the word! Most of our volunteers are Nanaimo-based and we are looking for people to lead fundraising efforts in other nearby communities. We are able to handle the donations and earmark them for your desired section of trail, add content to our website and assist in promoting the campaigns in all regions on social media. If interested in spearheading efforts in your community contact us at info@nanaimoregionrailtrail.ca.

4) Forward this e-mail to those you think may be interested. Those who did not receive this e-mail directly from us can e-mail us at info@nanaimoregionrailtrail.ca to be added to our distribution list.