Columbia Basin Trust

These days, so many aspects of life rely on technology: a senior sends a message to her grandchild, a man checks in with his doctor online, an unemployed worker prints off a form to apply for Employment Insurance. With a wide-reaching project, Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) is making tech more readily available to people in the region, along with the know-how to use it.

Forests, wetlands and riparian areas are among the habitats that will benefit from several projects that are focusing on ensuring healthy, diverse and functioning ecosystems in the Columbia Basin.

“The Trust heard from people living in the Basin that ecosystem enhancement is important to maintain and improve native biodiversity in the wide variety of ecosystems that make up the region,” said Johnny Strilaeff, President and Chief Executive Officer, Columbia Basin Trust. “The efforts seen in these projects reflect those values as they involve hands-on work at a large scale, across entire landscapes, to create lasting effects.”

Life in the Basin is ingrained with nature, whether this involves camping, kayaking or simply waking to the sounds of birdsong. It’s no wonder that Basin youth are inspired to protect their local landscapes by getting involved with climate action.

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.”

People in the Columbia Basin have expressed that they want to be able to access healthy, locally grown food. Nineteen projects will make this even more possible, supported with over $980,000 from Columbia Basin Trust’s Food Access and Recovery Grants.

When it comes to handling emergency situations—such as the wildfires, floods and heat waves experienced in 2021—it’s best to be prepared. That’s why Columbia Basin Trust is supporting 13 rural and First Nations communities in the Columbia Basin to set up locations where people can gather during emergencies and disasters.

It doesn’t get much more local than knowing the name of the person who grows your produce or raises your poultry or beef, and Fernie’s new food store is making that connection for customers.

People looking for ways to enjoy the Columbia Basin’s great outdoors will soon have even better options thanks to upcoming projects focused on activities like building new trails, enhancing existing ones or strengthening amenities and trailhead facilities. Columbia Basin Trust is supporting 22 new trail improvement projects in 18 Basin communities.

In the last year, community groups across the Basin undertook 25 new projects that rehabilitate, enhance or develop recreational trails.

Columbia Basin Trust is pleased to welcome Betty Anne Marino to its Board of Directors. Marino, a nominee of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, joins the Board effective January 1, 2022 and will succeed Murray McConnachie whose term comes to an end on December 31, 2021.