Recreation Mapping Project

Download Recreation Mapping Project in PDF format.

At Springer Creek Restoration and Preservation Alliance (SCRAPA), our mission is to promote a convergence of community development and environmental stewardship. In 2014 we decided to pursue this mission by exploring the huge recreation potential of the lower Springer Creek area. To this end, in the first phase of our Mapping Project we obtained a donation to map the recreation trails of the Springer Creek Canyon area. We included the new maps on our website, and began publicizing them.

In the second phase we are seeking means of making this valuable recreation information even more accessible to the public. In early 2015 we received funding towards printing costs. Since then we have been fund-raising (and submitted a grant application) for three purposes: to print more map copies, hold public information meetings about the Project, and build information kiosks that will make the maps publicly available at two separate outdoor locations.

Phase I of the Mapping Project (2014)

With the generous support of the Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN) and in collaboration with Selkirk College Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC), we created the three high-quality maps available on our website ( Two are designed as large scale maps (3 feet by 4 feet), one of the entire Springer Creek watershed, and the other featuring recreation in the Village of Slocan area. The third is a Trail Map brochure.

To create the maps we first learned GPS data collection and simple mapping skills at a workshop conducted by SGRC. Then SCRAPA volunteers walked and hiked approximately 30 km of recreation trails in the lower Creek area, collecting GPS data, photos and written descriptions. Barry McLane of SGRC then combined our information with publicly available data to create the three maps.

The maps illustrate very clearly an interesting relationship between the Village of Slocan, the recreation trails of the Springer Creek Canyon area to the east, the Slocan Valley Rail Trail along the Slocan River to the west, and the Park and Beach on Slocan Lake to the north. What emerges is a Village ideally positioned to promote itself as a destination for outdoor recreation. The maps also suggest that recreation values in the Village might be enhanced by creating recreation trail corridors that better link the three areas, and by informing users of each area about recreation at the others.

Phase II of the Mapping Project (2015)

With the financial support from both Nelson and District and Kootenay Savings Credit Unions we currently have enough funds to print the two large maps needed for the kiosks, plus 500 of the Trail Map brochures. Currently we are fund-raising and applying for a grant to be able to print additional brochures and to build the two kiosks that will house these materials.

Kiosk Features

The kiosks are simple to build and will be constructed with volunteer labour. They will resemble the one shown below:

kioskThe kiosks will feature the large-scale Village of Slocan Recreation Areas map (see page 4), a panel beside the map with information needing more frequent
updates, and a container to hold copies of the Trail Map brochures.

We are currently seeking private donations, and have applied for funding through the Columbia Basin Trust’s CIP/AAP program, to create these kiosks. Should we receive the complete grant we have requested, we will use any private donations to pursue our long-range goals of promoting protection of Springer Creek Canyon and fish habitat restoration of the Creek’s outflow into Slocan Lake.

Our goal is to produce an additional 5000 copies of the Trail Map Brochures. This will be enough to stock both kiosks for two years, and also to send copies to Tourist Information Centres, Museums and outdoor recreation businesses throughout the Columbia Basin, promoting recreation in the Village of Slocan and surrounding areas.

Ideally, we would also like to raise funds to hire our mapmaker to make some minor corrections to the maps, as well as additions, such as the new Screech Owl Habitat Interpretive Walk, and the Old Highway Trail. We plan to hold public meetings to present the current maps and get community input into additional items that could be added.

Kiosk Locations

We would like to place one kiosk on Highway 6 where it crosses Springer Creek. Here there is a pull-out already used for parking. We have applied to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for a permit to build a kiosk here. If we can raise additional funds, this will also be an excellent location for a park bench in the shade near the Creek.

For the other kiosk, we have sought permission to place it on the Slocan Valley Rail Trail near the Gazebo. We have so far been unsuccessful in obtaining this permission.

If these two locations are possible, it will allow trail users on either side of the Village to learn about recreation opportunities on the other, and to pick up a single brochure which features both areas.

However, if neither preferred location proves possible, we will consult with the Village of Slocan Council about other Village locations, perhaps at the Beach on Slocan Lake, the Community Garden near W. E. Graham School, or the Campground and Tourist Information Office.

The two preferred locations are shown below on a smaller version of the map we will use for the kiosks:


Completing Phase II of our Recreation Mapping Project will achieve several important results. First, it will increase public awareness of the recreation possibilities in the Village of Slocan and Springer Creek Canyon areas by placing large-scale maps outdoors directly in the recreation environment. Second, by siting the two kiosks on either side of the Village, it will provide a place where trail users of either area can learn about the other and get handy Trail maps showing both locations. And finally, by making users aware of the ideal location of the Village of Slocan as a recreation destination, and by promoting local recreation throughout the Columbia Basin, the Project will supplement existing measures that encourage a central role for recreation in the economic and community development of the Village and the Slocan Valley as a whole.

Spring 2015 Update

Spring 2015 Update in pdf format.

With the generous assistance of the Mapping Support Program of the Columbia Basin Watershed Network, and in collaboration with the Selkirk College Geospatial Research Center, Springer Creek Restoration and Preservation Alliance (SCRAPA) has recently mapped approximately 30 km of recreation trails in the lower Springer Creek watershed. These trails, easily accessed from Highway 6 and the Village of Slocan, vary from easy walking to extremely challenging hiking, and some require particular caution.

We encourage everyone, at every level of fitness or DSC00108ability, to explore this special place of unusual geology, numerous waterfalls, crystal clear pools and a small, but truly impressive Canyon. Those who do visit, often come away spiritually renewed and with a deep and abiding love for this precious Creek and its watershed, and furthermore experience a sense of interconnectedness probably necessary for our future survival as a species.

Below the recreation area, Springer Creek then runs right through the Village of Slocan. Here we find a remarkable confluence of creek, and lake, and river, the location of a First Nations village in the 19th century, probably situated to take advantage of plentiful Pacific Salmon in the Creek and River. Even today, this area has the highest biological productivity found anywhere in Slocan Lake. And most important for the ecology and economy of the future, here we also have a significant opportunity to practice ecological restoration of a former industrial site, converting the tunnel and artificial channel created when the sawmill was built in the 1960’s to a natural stream of restored fish habitat.

SCRAPA believes this unique, intimate relationship between Village and Creek provides an invaluable opportunity to begin creating a new, transformative economy combining environmental stewardship and economic development. We will collaborate with all who can envision such a radically new convergence. With your help, we hope by Fall of 2015 to release specific proposals for direct public investment in a dramatically new sustainable development strategy that will benefit the Village, the Slocan Valley and the Region. At the heart of these proposals is a vision: a resilient Village as a place of harmony between diverse interests, interconnected with surrounding communities, committed to healthy outdoor recreation for residents and visitors, and therefore demonstrating a unique brand of economic development.

Because of the Creek’s special character and its enormous potential for of sustainable development, SCRAPA cannot support a plan by the Village of Slocan Council to generate hydro-power from Springer Creek. Those wishing to comment on the hydro proposal can make submissions until until March 18th on the Ministry of FLNRO website at

The public can learn more our mapping project by attending a SCRAPA presentation at the regular Village of Slocan Council Meeting on March 9th, at 7 PM. Our Trail Map Brochure, printed with financial support from both Nelson and District and Kootenay Savings Credit Unions can be viewed on the website, and copies are available by donation. Please also send any questions and comments to SCRAPA at

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SCRAPA welcomes questions and comments. Please contact us at or on facebook.

September 24, 2013 Slocan 2020 Vision Workshop Summary

September 24, 2013 Workshop Summary

Step One: Envisioning

During a whole group process, followed up by work in smaller groups, participants identified a number of features they would like to see as part of the Village of Slocan waterfront in the future.  These ideas have been grouped under natural environment, built environment and activities.

Natural environment:

Restoration of Springer and Climax Creeks; creeks meander through pools of a wetland, a zone of native vegetation.

Built environment:

  • Community gardens/greenhouses, green space, parkland.
  • Energy recycling facility.
  • Housing, especially seniors and low income.  Low density, low impact housing.  Seasonal rental cottages.
  • Commercial and light industrial development.  Stores, “local” art galleries, watersports rentals, tourist information, seasonal gift shop, workshops and studios.  A micro-brewery, featuring “Springer Creek Ale” made with high quality drinking water.
  • Museum, library and archive, interpretive and educational center for history, and natural history of the Slocan Valley.  An ecological research, education and remediation centre.
  • A waterfront walkway, above high water, connecting current rail trail and the old highway trail east of saw mill site.

Activities the community would like to see:

  • Holistic vision for community development; a unified resilient community.
  • Training of community members through bioremediation of contamination on the saw mill site.
  • Job creation to allow young people to stay in the area.
  • An example for other communities in transition from resource based economy.
  • Selkirk College program in appropriate and pioneering technology, green building, permaculture and bioremediation.

Step Two: Taking Action

First in small groups, then as a whole, the workshop identified the following action items:

Identifying sources of funding.

Reaching out to the owner of the saw mill property.

Continuing the community process by holding meetings.

Conducting research including:

  • nature and history of the saw mill site
  • regulations for contaminated sites
  • grant funding
  • models of other places which have engaged in similar community building processes
  • nature and level of contamination and is there current leaching into the Lake

Village Council should consider safety on the site during and after demolition.

First Slocan 2020 Vision Event September 24 a Success

An envisioning workshop held September 24, 2013 was attended by about 40 people from the Village of Slocan, the Slocan Valley and the Region.  The event produced some valuable ideas for the Slocan waterfront and specific plans to move the process forward.  A summary of the evening’s discussions will be available on the blog soon.

Everyone welcome at the first Slocan 2020 Vision Workshop, September 24, 7 – 8:30 pm in the Village of Slocan

In a world of uncertainty and increasing complexity, resilient communities need to be adaptable and dynamic.  They respect diversity but find ways to collaborate to achieve common goals.  Resilient communities are supported by, but in turn commit to actively protecting and developing, the social, economic and environmental resources that define them.

Slocan 2020 Vision is a community initiative to encourage development of the Springer Creek Forest Products mill site as a way of building resiliency. The saw mill site, most of which lies within in the Village of Slocan, represents a tremendous opportunity for community development.  Slocan 2020 Vision addresses the need for both economic revitalization and environmental restoration.   If the initiative is successful, the resulting remediation of site contamination and restoration of the Slocan Lake outflow of Springer Creek will ultimately enhance the Village and the entire Slocan Valley.

Ambitious, this vision would see by the year 2020 a plan for the entire site, and more importantly, see some portion of the site already fully built and occupied (for instance as parkland, housing or light industry), thus providing badly needed sustainable development.  The idea is to avoid an empty parcel of contaminated land which sits unoccupied and generates little tax income, for the years or even decades it takes for development to occur if left to market forces.

To achieve this ambitious goal requires an effective and dynamic community organization willing to refine the vision, communicate it and access the resources to make it a reality.

The first step in this process is the Public Forum to be held at the Legion Hall in Slocan Sept 24, 2013, 7 -8:30 pm.  All members of the local and regional community are encouraged to attend.  A brief description of the workshop is available on the blog at the web address below.

Please contact us with comments and questions.  And if you cannot attend the meeting, support this initiative by participating on line.



Issues in the Springer Creek Watershed

In terms of critical issues, the Springer Creek watershed can be divided in three parts.

In the upper portions there are numerous abandoned mine sites which could to be inventoried for ecological restoration and cultural preservation.

Lower down, the proposed micro-hydro project may impact on the amazingly beautiful Springer Creek Canyon and surrounding area.

And at the outflow into Slocan Lake, there is the sawmill site; community discussions on the re-development of this site, if pursued creatively, will help to create more local resiliency by giving voice to a wide range of perspectives and strategies.

Let’s begin a discussion on all aspects of the Springer Creek watershed.

Gwillim Creek water quality issue confirms importance of Springer Creek

A recent slide into Gwillim Creek has led the RDCK to issue an advisory to the residents of the Village of Slocan due to turbidity.

This event emphasizes the importance of maintaining the water quality of Springer Creek, which acts as a back-up supply for the Village.

Local media story: (