Five East Kootenay communities are improving public spaces and revitalizing their downtown as a result of the Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Outdoor Revitalization Grants.
The grants total $1.9 million to different 12 communities within the Columbia Basin, while $970,584 of that money is staying locally in Invermere, Kimberley, Jaffray, Canal Flats, and Radium Hot Springs.
“By improving aesthetics and functionality, these projects will help create areas where people want to gather,” said Will Nixon, Senior Manager of Delivery of Benefits with Columbia Basin Trust. “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.”
The largest local recipient is the District of Invermere as they revitalize their downtown, getting $377,775 for their project. Meanwhile, the City of Kimberley is receiving $88,809 to spruce up the Platzl in the City’s downtown.
Elsewhere, the Village of Radium Hot Springs is getting $33,000 to develop three community firepits, the Village of Canal Flats is getting $174,900 for upgrades to the Community Park, and the Regional District of East Kootenay will be the recipient of $296,100 to build a new greenspace at the Jaffray Community Hall.
The projects in Canal Flats and Jaffray are quite significant for the smaller communities.
In Jaffray, the greenspace around the Community Hall will be upgraded to create a more useable community space, as two timber-frame pavilions will be constructed. One of the pavillions will serve as a concession while the other will could be utilized as a meet spot, outdoor classroom, or more.
“We see this project creating a more efficient and aesthetic hub for getting together and taking part in group activities,” said Natalie Burgess, the representative for the Jaffray project. “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.”
Over in Canal Flats, the Community Park already has lots of amenities and serves as the hub of the community but their $174,900 will allow for the construction of washrooms and a covered pavilion.
“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, Chief Administrative Officer with the Village of Canal Flats. “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.”
Here’s the full list of Community Outdoor Revitalization Grants going to communities in the East Kootenay:
- Invermere – $377,775 – Downtown Revitalization
- Increase directional signage to promote local businesses; add street trees with lighting, benches, tables and bike racks; and install integrated sound systems to ensure that downtown is a vibrant all-season business centre for residents and visitors. The project is a multi-year, project to revitalize and enhance Invermere’s downtown along 7th Ave.
- Jaffray – $296,100 – Jaffray Community Hall Greenspace
- Construct a timber-frame pavilion that will serve as an outdoor meeting space, celebration space and classroom. Include shade trees, a cement brick firepit, a public washroom and a concession. The space will become a welcoming place for residents and visitors of Jaffray and outlying areas.
- Canal Flats – $174,900 – Community Park
- Develop public washrooms and a pavilion. The pavilion will be open to the public for family events and will feature prominently in Canal Flats festivals. Both buildings are part of the 2018 Park Plan adopted by Council.
- Kimberley – $88,809 – Platzl Revitalization
- Add benches around the existing gazebo, picnic tables with seating for those with disabilities, chairs and a tri-level water fountain; update the parking lot walkway, and increase bicycle parking and charging stations. Using ideas submitted by residents and businesses, this project will ensure the Platzl will remain vibrant, welcoming and accessible to all ages and abilities.
- Radium Hot Springs – $33,000 – Reunion Grove Community Firepits
- Develop three communal firepits with circular bench seating near the existing community hall, rink and parking areas. This project is a component of the Village’s Park Master Plan and is expected to increase cold-weather use of the park.