Columbia Basin Trust is providing $1.8 million for 38 projects to support a variety of groups and organizations in building infrastructure that encourages active lifestyles in the Basin. The Recreation Infrastructure Grants program supports community efforts to create new or upgrade existing recreation facilities and trails in the region.

Trail skate park and Fruitvale projects net CBT grants

The City of Trail received $150,000 toward an All Wheel Park; the project is in the books for 2018.

Seniors, skateboarders, skiers and trail seekers living across the Columbia Basin are at the heart of the Trust’s latest round of Recreation Infrastructure Grants.

Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) announced $1.8 million in funding toward 38 initiatives last week the cities of Trail and Creston each received $150,000 toward skate park construction and two Beaver Valley community projects were given a big boost.

Trail Mayor Mike Martin says constructing an all-wheel park near Gyro Park is a strategic priority for council next year, the matter was recently discussed as part of the 2017 and five-year capital plan.

Rendering for All Wheel Park in Trail

“It remains a commitment of council to advance this project in 2018,” Martin said. “We are very appreciative of the CBT support council will need to consider the scope and final budget approval as part of the overall capital priorities and funding available as those discussion take place later this year.”

Children in the Beaver Valley are at the centre of a $67,300 grant toward the building of a new playground at the Fruitvale Elementary School. The initiative, “LEAP: Learn, Explore, Active, Play” is one step closer to reality, says Paul Terpstra, chair of the Parent Advisory Council.

“We did the biggest happy dance on the planet when we got the email (about the grant),” Terpstra shared. “It’s our largest source of funding it looks like all the funding pieces are coming together at present,” he added.“So it’s very exciting for Fruitvale and the elementary school kids.”

Another village amenity, the very popular seniors-only gym, was the recipient of almost $30,000 to expand the free service to accommodate more users.

Located in the Fruitvale Memorial Centre, the village set up the gym in the fall of 2015 with the expectation that 100-or-so people would join, says Chief Administrative Officer Lila Cresswell.

Currently the gym has 475 registered users.

The expansion involves repurposing an unused kitchen area, and once complete, Cresswell clarified the venue will remain seniors-only and free-of-charge.

“Although it is a Village of Fruitvale initiative, in the spirit of the BV Age Friendly program, it is available to all Beaver Valley seniors (Fruitvale, Montrose, Electoral Area A),” she said.

“We anticipate the work to be undertaken this summer and will be looking for a temporary venue during the renovation so that BV seniors are accommodated.”

Fruitvale seniors-only gym

This facility has made such a difference for many of our senior residents, improving their lives both physically and mentally, said Patricia Cecchini, Mayor of Fruitvale.

“This project will expand the fitness area by 41 per cent, reducing wait times for fitness equipment and encouraging more seniors to work out in a setting where they feel comfortable.”

Recreation grants support community efforts to create new or upgrade existing recreation facilities and trails in the region.

Since the program launched in early 2016, the Trust has funded 100 projects with $6.3 million, including 222 kilometres (km) on 43 trails, 36 outdoor facilities like playgrounds and tennis courts and 10 other facilities like riding arenas and gymnasiums. Projects are located in 34 Basin communities. The final intake for the program will open November 2017.

“Residents have told us they would like the Trust’s help to build stronger, more resilient and more enjoyable communities, and part of this is having the amenities they need to lead active, healthy lifestyles,” said Kindy Gosal, CBT’s director, special initiatives. “We’re pleased to see such a positive response to the program, and we’re happy to support these community-based projects that have a lot of the preparatory work done, have commitments for other funding, and have local residents willing to pitch in and make the project work.”

Local projects approved in this round include: $122,000 for the Nakusp and Area Bike Society to develop destination trails for all ages, styles, levels and abilities of mountain bikers and other recreational non-motorized trail users; Kootenay Columbia Trails Society (Rossland, Area B of regional district) $14,000 to upgrade the lower section of the 5.4-km Dewdney Trail; the Salmo Valley Trail Society, $15,000, to reclaim and improve a five-km trail into the alpine area on Lost Mountain; and Rivervale Recreation, $15,000 to install two pieces of adult exercise equipment in the Rivervale Community Park.

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