Merritt and the Nicola Valley backcountry provide the perfect backdrop for many outdoor recreation opportunities. Whether you’re interested in hiking, boating, fishing, camping, mountain biking, off-roading, birdwatching or other outdoor pursuits, there is so much to see and do.

With many locals and visitors enjoying these activities, it’s important that we all work to preserve these special spaces. We must be mindful and respectful of the fragile ecosystem, pack out what we pack in, and do our part to protect our environment. Experience the outdoors, but do so responsibly.

Summer is a great time to support our local businesses as well. You can find unique items while supporting local entrepreneurs at the many wonderful shops in town, as well as at the markets happening every Saturday from now through September.

There are also a number of summer events that bring the community together, including Canada Day Celebrations on July 1 at Rotary Park, the Central Interior Show n’ Shine on August 5-6 at Garcia Street and Coutlee Avenue, and the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo happening September 2-3 at the Merritt Rodeo Grounds.

Finally, I want to wish our local graduates a fun summer after all their hard work. Your community is proud of you, and we wish you the best of luck in whatever is next — whether it’s post-secondary
studies, a new job, or some much-deserved time off to travel and explore new surroundings. A big thank-you to all the people in your lives who have supported you through your educational journey.

I hope all Merritt residents can take some time to relax, enjoy the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. Have a great summer, everyone!