CBT Enhances Outdoor Gathering Spaces

The Columbia Basin Trust provides over $1.9 million for 12 community projects. Picture: Jaffray Community Hall will be upgraded to create an inviting useable community space.

Outdoor public spaces like parks, downtown cores and waterfronts will become even more welcoming as 12 communities receive over $1.9 million to create, restore or enhance these locations. The funding comes from Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Outdoor Revitalization Grants.

“By improving aesthetics and functionality, these projects will help create areas where people want to gather,” said Will Nixon, Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits. “They’ll become more useful and attractive to the people who live there, create a draw for visitors and aid in boosting the well-being of local businesses.”

Adding Function Within the Greenery
In Jaffray, the green space around the Jaffray Community Hall will be upgraded to create an inviting useable community space. The Regional District of East Kootenay will undertake improvements, including building two timber-frame pavilions: one for the concession and one that could be used as an outdoor classroom, meeting spot and more. 

“We see this project creating a more efficient and aesthetic hub for getting together and taking part in group activities,” says Natalie Burgess, project representative. “This space will become a welcoming place for residents of the Jaffray community and outlying areas to come, recreate, celebrate and gather. It will also play a role in increasing tourism in the area.”

Revitalizing an Outdoor Space
The Village of Montrose will be revitalizing the C-CERC building (the former Comprehensive Community and Education Resource Centre) and upgrading Montrose Park. Among other activities, it will be building a covered outdoor stage and adding solar-powered lighting along walking trails.

“The project will allow people of all ages and backgrounds to interact on a regular basis; encourage community members to participate in recreational, arts and cultural activities; and help ensure that all members of a family group can participate in a chosen activity in one location,” said Mayor Mike Walsh.

Expanding a Park with a View
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has expanded Rivervale Park, north of Trail. This involved landscaping about 1,000 square feet that was previously covered with rough dirt and weeds but boasts great views of Columbia River.

“Parks bring communities together, allow us to get to know our friends and neighbours and promote freedom and play for children and adults,” said Mark Daines, Manager of Facilities and Recreation. “The larger park will have more capacity to host events like family gatherings, community events and picnics. The view alone will provide a backdrop for taking photos and creating memories.”

Creating a Pleasing Waterfront
The Village of Slocan will be undertaking the first phase of its waterfront development plan. Having received a Community Outdoor Revitalization Planning Grant from the Trust in May, the Village hired a landscape architecture firm to develop a detailed design plan. With that plan in place, it will start work on the northwest portion of the waterfront, completing the breakwater area and making the space more useable for residents and visitors.

“The Slocan waterfront has been widely recognized as a regional asset,” said Michelle Gordon, Chief Administrative Officer. “It is highly used by Slocan residents, regional district residents and visitors from far and wide, with amenities like a boat launch, beach, gazebo and picnic areas. This project will help us develop the area even further.”

Improving a Park’s Amenities
As the hub of the community, the Canal Flats Community Park has lots of amenities, from a bike track to a playground. Soon it will have two more vital components. The Village of Canal Flats, in partnership with the Canal Flats Community Society, will be constructing a covered pavilion and washrooms.

“The pavilion will make for a beautiful outdoor meeting area, protected from sun and rain and open to the public at all times for activities like barbeques,” said Adrian Bergles, the Village’s Chief Administrative Officer. “It will feature prominently during local festivals and will enhance community events like weddings and family reunions. The public washrooms will make the park even more pleasant. Together, these will help make the park the best place it can be.”

The Community Outdoor Revitalization Grants provide municipalities, regional districts and First Nations communities with up to $500,000 to create, restore or enhance outdoor multi-use spaces, and up to $10,000 for planning and design for First Nations communities and communities with populations under 5,000. Learn more at ourtrust.org/CORgrants. Learn all the ways the Trust helps communities take action on issues and opportunities at ourtrust.org/community.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.