March 2022 saw the passing of Carlos España, one of ARPD's most dedicated volunteers.
Carlos cared deeply for our community, working tirelessly on a number of local causes. As a volunteer for ARPD, he loved being involved in the planning and festivities of the Mile High 100 Cycling Event (and riding it the last two times), the Poker Paddle, and the Fun Run. He was the type of person that really enjoyed a challenge and would apply his engineering background to tackle it, and was key to implementing all aspects of the upcoming improvements to the Almanor Recreation Center.
Carlos spent an enormous amount of time on his true passion. It started with his love of hiking around our beautiful community, grew legs while working to rebuild and expand the Collins Pine Nature trail, and found its focus with his vision for a network of trails around Lake Almanor. He created and presented plans to Caltrans for an extension of the Hwy 89 trail along the West Shore, resulting in Caltrans' decision to fund and build the new four-mile section. He has worked extensively with Collins Pine in the land acquisition of the Almanor Rail Trail. Shortly before he passed away, he submitted a $2.6 million grant application to build a 12 mile section of the trail from Chester to Clear Creek junction. He found great joy working with many people and organizations in the community and across the state over the course of his work. He used every ounce of his remaining energy to move one more step toward achieving this ambitious vision.
Although Carlos knew that completion would not take place in his lifetime, it’s heartbreaking that he will not be here to celebrate the completion of the first stages. But he knew at the end that those who are as committed to this project as he was, will pick up the ball and make this happen.
His passing has left a huge hole in the hearts of his family and friends and his dedication to our community will be missed.
As a fitting tribute and in support of our local community, we have established a memorial fund for the Rail Trail project through the Community Foundation. Contributions will be dedicated to development and maintenance of the Almanor Rail Trail and are fully tax deductible. If you wish to support this project, you can access the fund by going to https://www.nvcf.org/funds/Carlos-Espana-Memorial-Fund-for-Almanor-Rail-Trail .