The Columbia Basin Trust has granted funding to 38 recreational projects that promote an active lifestyle. The Columbia Basin Trust is providing a total of $1.8 million in funding towards these projects, and Canal Flats, Fairmont and Invermere organizations are receiving a combined total of $307,500 for recreational projects.
Canal Flats is receiving $240,000 that will be used for their Arena Accessibility and Gender Equality project. The money will be spent to create two new dressing rooms for females and referees at the arena, and they will construct an accessible entrance and foyer. Mayor of Canal Flats Ute Juras said she expects the construction to begin quickly and they’re hoping to have the project complete for next hockey season.
“The arena is basically one of our gems of the village… so we are very excited we got the money,” said Juras.
Fairmont Hot Springs has two new recreational projects in the area that are getting funding from the Columbia Basin Trust. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is being granted $10,000 develop three kilometres of trail at the Dutch Creek Hoodoos to reduce impact and improve accessibility to the area.
The Fairmont Community Association is receiving $40,000 for the construction of a new bike and walking path along Resort Road over the bridge. Treasurer of the Fairmont Community Association Paul Neilson told The Echo that the new path will be around 1.3 to 1.4 kilometres long and will be constructed with asphalt. The Community Association has big plans for the future of the path.
“Part of the longer term plan is to connect to Westside Legacy Trail,” said Neilson.
Construction for the project is expected to begin this spring, sometime around mid to late April. As the path has been in the planning stages for awhile, surveys have been completed for the project.
The Summit Trail Makers Society was the final grant recipient in the Columbia Valley, receiving $17,500 for the construction of a new trail to Pedley Ridge as well as a trail into Hidden Lakes.
“What we want to do is we want to construct a proper trail that will make it a loop trail when you go up to (Pedley) ridge on the existing trail that’s there now. You’ll be able to walk along the ridge and then loop back down to the parking lot on a different trail,” said Wayne Lyons, president of Summit Trail Makers Society.
Summit Trail Makers Society has a contract with Recreational Sites and Trails B.C. to maintain eight trails — the Pedley Pass Trail is one of those eight.
“Because it’s under contract, we do work on it every year to maintain it. It’s very close to town; the circuit trail will make it an attractive option where you don’t have to go up and back on the same route. We think that will actually enhance the hiking experience,” said Lyons.
The group will also work to improve the path down to the small lake that is at the base of Mount Aeneas. Known to the group as Tarn on Pedley Pass, they will create a designated official trail down to the lake.
“What we plan to do with Pedley being so close to town — it’s only about a half an hour drive — (is) create a hiking area there. So when people go up we’ll have lots of different options to hike. They can go up and back on the loop, either clockwise or counter clockwise they can go over to the small lake and back over that way,” said Lyons.
Construction of the new path will have to wait until the ground dries; Lyons projects construction sometime in mid-June. The construction will not affect the original pass so hikers can still access the area.