Gravitron Trail redeveloped and renamed in honour of the late Graham Haywood

Jul 04, 2023
All Areas

Public invited to participate in trail dedication and renaming ceremony July 15, 2023

Pemberton, BC – With funding from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD), the Pemberton area mountain bike trail formerly known as Gravitron has been redeveloped and renamed, in honour of former SLRD staff member, Graham Haywood.

Haywood passed away in 2020. He was the SLRD’s Senior Project Coordinator, and had also served as Interim Director of Legislative and Corporate Services. Prior to joining the SLRD, Haywood was employed as a Land Manager with Líl̓wat Nation. An avid mountain biker, he also served as a Board member and volunteer of Pemberton Valley Trails Association (PVTA).

In consultation with his family, the SLRD has partnered with Lil’wat Nation and the PVTA to recognize Haywood.

The SLRD’s Electoral Area Directors (EAD) Committee provided funding of up to $12,000 to the PVTA for the Gravitron trail project in Haywood’s memory. The PVTA used the funding to revitalize the double-black diamond, experts-only trail, repairing drainage and trail surfaces while retaining the exhilarating experience for riders. The redeveloped trail will be maintained and operated by the PVTA.

Líl̓wat Nation has honoured Haywood’s memory by renaming the trail Kacwepcwépa (Ka-kwep-kwep-a), the Ucwalmicwts phrase for “to come back to memory”.

The public is invited to attend a trail dedication and renaming ceremony on July 15, 2023 (1:00 p.m.) at the trail head (adjacent to the transmission tower, approximately 9.5 kilometres up the Mackenzie Basin Forest Service Road) with representatives from Líl̓wat Nation, the PVTA and the SLRD in attendance.

“The SLRD team is humbled by the commitment that Graham had to his work, to his family and to his community,” said SLRD Board Chair, Jen Ford. “Not only was Graham a much-loved and respected member of the SLRD team, he was also an ambassador for the region, and an outdoor adventure enthusiast who volunteered locally to help build some of the trails that continue to be enjoyed by many. It is our hope that this tribute will be one more way of ensuring that Graham’s memory lives on in the community that he so greatly loved.”

“Graham’s kind-hearted nature, and compassion were greatly valued in Lil'wat, as we are sure they were everywhere he went,” said P’sit7 – Casey Dick-Wyatt, Director of Lands & Resources at Lil’wat Nation. “Graham developed lasting bonds and left good feelings in the hearts of those who he worked closely with and those he met briefly along the way. To this day, his name is mentioned in admiration. His love of the land and good intentions allowed for deep trust and honest exchanges with those around him. We know he left doing what he loved, and his legacy in Lil'wat will not be forgotten. We all remember his silent, cheeky smile.”

“Graham was a positive, energetic force with an infectious smile and a great sense of humour," added former Pemberton Valley Trails Association President, Bill Stiles. "He completed projects with passion and knowledge and was always 100 per cent committed to anything he was involved with," he said. "He played a pivotal role in the development of the Pemberton Trails Master Plan and signage on the Pemberton trails. It was an honour to have Graham on the PVTA board. He dedicated many volunteer hours to the PVTA and his service to the community will always be remembered. The PVTA is honoured to be a part of the trail dedication to Graham.”

Members of the community with questions about this project can contact:

Allison Macdonald
Parks and Trails Coordinator
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Telephone: 604-894-6371 x 243 |

Roxanne Joe
Coordinator, Lands and Resources
Líl̓wat Nation
Telephone: 604-894-6115 ext. 2467 |

Allie Gilchrist
Executive Director
Pemberton Valley Trails Association (PVTA)  |

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Media Contact: 

Vanessa Murphy
Communications Coordinator
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Phone: 604.894.6371 x260

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