Communities Target Climate Resilience

Whether they’re enabling the public to use electric cars or promoting clean energy, eight projects are helping Columbia Basin communities become more climate-resilient, with support from Columbia Basin Trust.

“People, groups and communities throughout the region are committed to becoming more climate resilient, and we’re here to support their efforts,” said Katie Kendall, Senior Manager, Special Initiatives, Columbia Basin Trust. “These projects focus on actions in anticipation of, and in response to events, trends or opportunities related to climate change.”

These projects, which are receiving over $1.7 million in support from the Trust, are some examples of how the Trust is integrating climate resilience into its work throughout the Basin. Learn more at

Here are a few of the recipients:

Nelson Adds an Eco-friendly Transportation Option

“Low Speeds for Most Needs.” That’s the motto that Kootenay Car Share will promote to Nelson residents when it buys two low-speed electric vehicles that community members will be able to borrow. The mini-cars seat four passengers, have a maximum speed of 40 kilometres/hour and can go a distance of 90 kilometres—perfect for in-city needs.

“By introducing people to low-speed electric vehicles, we aim to provide an example of a concrete and practical option that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, showing that real change is possible,” said Colleen Doyle, Executive Director. “It will offer another accessible, affordable, reliable, low‐impact transportation solution that is an alternative to privately owned vehicles.”

A Focus on Clean Energy and Retrofits

Many people and communities in the Basin are looking to shift to cleaner energy, reduce their energy use and increase the comfort of their homes. To help this happen, the Community Energy Association is offering community workshops to highlight clean-energy and energy-efficiency options for residents. It is also hosting training opportunities for local tradespeople, contractors and post-secondary students to support growing interest for building retrofits.

“This project will increase the ability of Basin residents to understand their options and access skilled expertise to undertake retrofit and clean-tech projects,” said Jessica Martin-Thompson, Climate Initiatives Specialist. “It will develop the skills and knowledge necessary for a climate-resilient and low-carbon future in the Columbia Basin.”

Diverting Organics

Households in Kimberley will have a new and climate-friendly way to dispose of organic food and yard waste—through a city-wide organics collection program. The City of Kimberley’s program includes an education campaign to maximize participation and ensure people are collecting the right materials.

“By diverting more than 767 tonnes of organics from the landfill, we’ll be contributing to a climate-resilient Basin—for example, by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas created by the landfill,” said Pamela Walsh, Manager of Community Development and Communications. “We will also teach residents about organics collection and the importance of composting to help mitigate the effects of climate change, to extend the life of our landfill and to create usable compost for our region.”

People throughout the West Kootenay will also be encouraged to collect their organics and given the means to do so. The Regional District of Central Kootenay is implementing a bear-safe collection service in rural areas and small towns, and providing education to households in the entire region about diverting organics.

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 or call 1.800.505.8998.