The B.C. Wildlife Federation (BCWF)’s Fish Habitat Restoration and Education Program has been awarded over $600,000 to improve the accessibility of outdoor areas.

BCWF officials said the aim of the project is to improve accessibility for all community members, including people with disabilities and seniors.

The money will go to upgrading up to 20 docks throughout B.C. According to BCWF officials, work will include installing transition ramps and bumper rails to the docks, adding picnic tables and washrooms to the area and making trails leading up to the docks more accessible.  The locations of docks getting the upgrades have not been finalized.

BCWF officials said the project will not only help create safer outdoor spaces, but also improve local economies, as BCWF’s Fish Habitat Restoration and Education Program is looking to hire local contractors and buy supplies from local businesses.

“The Outdoor Access Improvement Project is a great opportunity to increase the mobility-impaired access to docks throughout the province. Due to COVID-19 many fishing spots have become busier. Our goal is to increase accessibility while providing employment and economic stimulus in communities throughout B.C.,” said Tobias Roehr, BCWF Fish Habitat Restoration and Education Coordinator. “It is great to see many different organizations working together to improve accessibility in B.C.”

The two-year Outdoor Access Improvement Project was jointly funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, the Province of British Columbia and the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP).

**Story by Josiah Spyker**