The City of Fernie and the District of Elkford will be receiving the Columbia Basin Trust’s (CBT) 2020 Community Outdoor Revitalization Grant. Eleven communities throughout the Basin are receiving this year’s funding, collectively worth roughly $2.5 million.
Introduced last year to revitalize outdoor public spaces, the grants support a variety of projects, including the construction of washroom facilities, development of gazebos, and expansion of pavilions.
The program offers assistance either through project planning and designing grants, or support through capital grants. The former aids the planning and designing of spaces in rural contexts, and is available to municipalities of 5,000 residents or less. The latter supports projects in community outdoor spaces that create opportunities for interaction, or upgrade aesthetics.
In either case, the program is set in place to allow communities to restore, enhance or create outdoor public spaces that contribute to the safe, vibrant, and welcoming feel of Basin communities.
This year, the City of Fernie was given $40,500 for the construction of the Eirin Amundsen Memorial Pavilion. The scope behind the project is to build a pavilion at the Max Turyk Recreation Area intended for community events, visitor use, and to facilitate outdoor classroom activities. Upon completion, the area will include an enclosed zone to store equipment.
The District of Elkford was also given $340,781 to assist with developing a bare space between the Community Conference Centre and the new district office. The project is entitled Elkford’s Meeting Place, and is set to include a fire pit, gazebo, and landscaping to serve as a central location for outdoor community gatherings.
According to Kathleen Hart, communications coordinator for the CBT, both of the Elk Valley’s projects were approved for funding as they enhance community spaces that allow for accessible gathering and programming, when gatherings are once again allowed.
“From downtown cores to parks, outdoor public spaces paint a picture of what’s at the heart of Basin communities: caring, diverse people who feel pride in their local places,” said Johnny Strilaeff, CBT president and CEO. “These projects will help support the economic wellbeing of communities and these locations will be improved for the long term and for future gatherings.”