The Columbia Basin Trust said that $377,000 will be provided across 27 different projects throughout the region to provide new outdoor recreation space and improve existing spaces.
The funding covers a wide range of projects, according to CBT, including new gymnastics equipment, an improved BMX track and new playgrounds.
“One of the opportunities we offer through this initiative is the capital improvement grants, which is supporting efforts to increase participation in sport and physical activity for youth,” said Michelle d’Entremont, a manager with CBT. “The grant is supporting projects that increase or expand the quality and diversity of sport or physical literacy infrastructure and equipment around the Basin.”
Among the biggest grant recipients, the Trust said that children visiting the Blue Lake Camp near Canal Flats and run by Columbia Outdoor School will be treated to a new high-ropes course challenge. CBT will give them $25,000 to help fund the project.
“This is basically a learning opportunity that will be added to their list of adventure programs,” said d’Entremont. “Their summer camps saw close to 1,00 young people last year and they’re looking to expand the opportunities with this high-ropes course.”
In Cranbrook, CBT said that the East Kootenay Disk Golf Club will receive $12,250 to renovate its three courses and make them more appealing to youth. It will build a washroom on one course, add nine holes to another to make it better suited to accommodate large groups, and add short distance tee pads to a difficult course to make it more youth-friendly.
Additionally, $25,000 with be provided to Mount Baker Secondary School for the construction of a multi-use outdoor basketball court.
“We’ve recently seen the completion of one in Kimberley at Selkirk Secondary. Everyone is really excited about that, people have already been using it,” said d’Entremont. “What’s great about this kind of court is that it can be used for a variety of sports and activities and it will be accessible so groups like Special Olympics can use it.
Also in Cranbrook, a further $25,000 in funding will be used to help rebuild the BMX bike track.
They’re going to move the BMX park over a little bit, and in that move, they’re going to redesign it to be bigger and better than ever,” said d’Entremont. “This an exciting project because the sport of BMX is really taking off.”
D’Entremont added that the move is to help accommodate the addition of a new indoor sports complex.
Among the projects funded in Kimberley, $25,000 in funding will be added to the construction of the planned Swan Avenue Adventure Park.
A full list of the projects receiving funding and the amounts given to each one can be found here.