New bench awaits hikers

A bench in honour of a popular local resident has been erected on the trail up to the top of Observation Mountain.

The Perepelkin Bench.

A bench in honour of a popular local resident has been erected on the trail up to the top of Observation Mountain on July 6.

Peter Perepelkin was an active Rotarian, local business owner and a staunch supporter of trails in the area. Before passing away in November 2014, Perepelkin pledged to donate $10,000 to the Grand Forks Community Trails Society over 10 years.

The work installing the bench was done by the City of Grand Forks. A private helicopter was used to get the bench up to the spot on the mountain.

“We had picked the site with Dave Reid (City of Grand Forks manager of operations) earlier in the summer,” said Chris Moslin, president of the trails society. “The crew had gone up and prepared the site before hand. On July 6, they got the helicopter up in the air and installed the bench.”

Moslin said they were hoping to get the bench up earlier in June but there were delays over insurance and other issues.

“It’s about 300 metres up there from the kiosk at the (old) wildlife hall,” he said. “It’s quite steep.”

Moslin said that dedicating the bench to Perepelkin was an easy decision and a great way to commemorate him.

“Peter had granted the trails society $10,000 to be given over 10 years, $1,000 a year, to improve the accessibility of the Observation Mountain trail,” said Moslin. “That kind of matched the city’s objectives of creating a viable trails network.”

Moslin said the bench is a standard city bench and matches the other city benches in town.

“It marks a real concerted effort by the city to extend its city trails networks to the top of Observation Mountain,” he said.

There will also be a commemorative plaque to Perepelkin installed at the entrance to the trail in the near future.

“He was such a stellar citizen in our community for so long,” said Moslin. “Many of us here have fond memories of Peter. For us at the trails society, we were thrilled that Peter thought enough of our efforts to sponsor us.”

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