Spring makeover for French Street Park

An overlooked park in Annable will be getting an age-friendly makeover thanks to Columbia Basin Trust.

French Street Park in Annable is one of 20 projects approved by the Trust in the latest round of recreation infrastructure grants.

An oft-overlooked park in Annable will be getting an age-friendly makeover thanks to Columbia Basin Trust.

French Street Park was one of 20 projects green-lighted in the Trust’s second round of recreational infrastructure grants the Village of Warfield will receive $52,800 to complete the work.

Warfield Coun. Diane Langman says fixing up the old site is part of village’s overall goal to get families back outdoors and having fun together but the project wouldn’t have been possible without the grant.

“We’ve been looking at different parks that are underutilized in the village and needing some attention,” Langman told the Trail Times. “French Street Park is definitely one of our oldest parks, and in my opinion, it’s one of the most neglected parks in town because we do often forget that it is part of Warfield so it needs some focus and attention right now.”

Upgrades include a new court for adults and youth to play basketball, soccer, floor hockey, volleyball, pickleball and tennis.

“We are trying to do something with the space that would include everybody, seniors, adults and kids,” said Langman. “Everyone has different interests, so we decided to go with an all sport park that is set up for all those different things, it’s very inclusive and not just dedicated to the kids.”

Plans are shelf-ready but won’t begin until next spring, she added.

Recipients were announced last week, and include $12,700 for Trail Horseman’s Society to upgrade fencing and install a new sub-base surface at the multi-use equestrian riding area; and $24,000 to the Castlegar Nordic Ski Club for upgrades to the Paulson Cross Country Ski Trails.

The largest grants, $250,000, went to the development of trail networks, both west and east.

On behalf of South Slocan, the Regional District of Central Kootenay received the funds for a greenway project that will improve and expand trails to join communities, schools, recreation assets, neighbourhoods and local businesses. Likewise in Invermere, the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance plans to use the money to connect Invermere with Fairmont Hot Springs with a 2.7-kilometre section multi-use trail for “human-powered” activities.

Another trails society, this one in the Creston Valley, received $110,000 to develop a trail system through old-growth cedar in a newly designated recreation spot near Char Creek.

This latest round of grants totals over $1 million, and supports community efforts to create new or upgrade existing recreation spaces like parks, trails and fields as well as indoor arenas, gyms and climbing walls.

The program has earmarked $9-million to distribute over three years. To date, more than $4.5 million has been approved for 62 recreation-focused projects. A third intake is scheduled for early 2017.

“Basin residents told us there was a need for a program like this, so it’s great to see such a positive response,” says Neil Muth, the Trust’s president and chief executive officer. “These 62 projects will help build stronger, more resilient and more enjoyable communities, and give residents the amenities they need to lead active, healthy, lifestyles.”

To read about the projects in full, visit ourtrust.org.

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