Dress up or dress down, but step up

Fall is a good time of year to decide to volunteer for the non-profit organization that provides the facilities where you have fun.

As woodland creatures begin to don their furry winter coats, with more under-layers than in summer, so too do humans dress up at this time of year, but for quite a different reason.

Next week, they’ll be wearing all sorts of odd clothing, makeup and accessories as part of the annual Halloween events that conclude Thursday evening with parties and possibly trick or treating.

Families can celebrate early by attending the Spooktacular Halloween Pumpkin Walk at the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park this Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. in West Kelowna.

Bring your own carved pumpkins with an LED tea light candle inside to light it up, to be placed along the trails in the historic nut orchard between 3 and 5 p.m.

I’ve always felt spirits of the past when wandering around in this pioneer collection of special local breeds of old nut trees and was so relieved when the community succeeded in purchasing the land to preserve it as a park.

There’s so much we can do if we all work together on such a project, and sometimes we just have to do that in order to protect lands from development that have either historic or natural features that are important to us. Often both are considerations.

Anyway, from 5 to 8 p.m., you can then stroll the pathways to look at the various jack-o-lanterns created by you and your neighbours and vote for your favourite when you drop off a donation to the food bank.

Hot drinks will be available and you’re reminded to wear your Halloween costume.

Such an event goes back to the roots of Halloween as an evening dedicated to remembering those who went before us, so in making use of this somewhat ‘spooky’ historic setting, it’s only natural to feel a little haunted by thoughts of those who once bred, grew, tended and harvested the nuts from those big old trees.

Earlier Sunday, you can help out at a wood cutting day with volunteers from the Kelowna Nordic (cross country) Ski Club at McCulloch, off Highway 33. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Apple Bowl to car pool, at 8:30 a.m., or at the main cabin at 9:30 a.m. with splitting axes and mauls or a chainsaw. Logs are at the main cabin waiting to be cut up, split and taken to other cabins on the trails. Bring lunch and hotdogs.

Workers will also cut brush along trails and do some cabin cleaning for the upcoming ski season.

Passes for the year are now available on the website at: kelownanordic.com

Across the lake, Telemark Nordic Club is also holding an event Sunday, with the annual ski swap and agm at the chalet, with equipment drop-off beginning at 10 a.m., the sale beginning at noon and the agm in the lower chalet at 11 a.m.

There will also be a Cyclocross bike race in the stadium during the morning.

Ski passes are now available online and early bird prices are in effect until Oct. 31. Go to: www.telemarkx-c.com

Both groups encourage people to volunteer to do your bit as they are non-profits, run by members.

That’s also true of the Okanagan Trail Riders Association who are stewards of the Bear Creek Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Site on the Westside.

That means members are responsible for maintenance, trail building, event planning and hosting, promotions and marketing and other aspects, for Recreation Sites and Trails B.C.

The OTRA agm is set for Mon., Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at Dakoda’s Sports Bar on Harvey Avenue and those interested in the riding area are asked to step up and offer to serve on the executive or volunteer for other tasks.

For details, go to the website at: okanagantrailriders.com

Such sport clubs are non-profits and depend on those interested in participating and using the facilities, to do their part to help out. Without volunteers, none of these facilities would exist, so chip in and help out in whatever way you can.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.





Kelowna Capital News