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Posted: March 13, 2018

$1.58 million for regional recreation projects

$3 million for 53 new recreation infrastructure projects basin-wide

The Columbia Basin Trust is providing $1,580,280 in Recreation Infrastructure Grants to 19 East Kootenay recreation projects.

In 2016, Columbia Basin Trust set out to help Columbia Basin residents lead a more active and healthy lifestyle by increasing access to high quality recreation places and spaces.

The Elkford Community Enhancement Society will construct a two-acre non-motorized bike park thanks to support from a Columbia Basin Trust Recreation Infrastructure Grant.

In this last intake of its three-year Recreation Infrastructure Grants program, 53 new projects were approved for over $3 million, including: $500,000 for the Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association’s indoor sports facility; $250,000 for a portion of the Westside Legacy Trail; $191,000 to the Kimberley Gymnastics Society to build a new facility; $120,000 to the Village of Radium Hot Springs to build an outdoor rink; $75,000 to the Fernie Pets Society to develop an off-leash dog park and trail network and $19,000 to the Elkford Community Enhancement Society for the Elkford Bike Park.

“We’re so pleased this program has had such an on-the-ground impact in such a short period of time to address an area that Basin residents told us was a priority,” said Kindy Gosal, Columbia Basin Trust Director, Special Initiatives. “Many Basin communities have benefited from this program over the past three years, with residents from all walks of life getting an opportunity to enjoy the activities they love while improving their mental and physical well-being. We want to thank all the people, groups and communities involved for helping to make this program such a success.”

The Recreation Infrastructure Grants program provided funds to construct new recreation infrastructure or upgrade existing infrastructure. This ranged from backcountry trail networks, to splash parks, to disc golf courses.

In total, the program has funded 153 projects with $9.4 million, including over 350 kilometres on 68 trails, 53 outdoor facilities like playgrounds, pickleball and tennis courts, and 15 other facilities like riding arenas and gymnasiums. Projects are located across the region in 42 Basin communities.

With this program ending, the Trust will continue supporting sport and physical activity in the region in other ways. For example, the Trust is currently developing a new program focusing on recreation areas and trails, and new initiatives for youth in sport. Watch for upcoming announcements.

The largest funding volume – $500,000 – is going to Cranbrook’s Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA).

In our climate, some sports, like soccer and baseball, can only be played for six months. KEYSA intends to change this. It will build an air-supported soft dome to create an indoor sports facility (similar to the image above). The facility will provide a year-round space for any field-based sports users that wish to use it, and have a walking/running track around the perimeter.

“This facility will improve the rate of development of young players, not only by doubling the amount of time facilities are available in a year, but also because play will occur on a surface—artificial turf—that best resembles the field conditions these sports play on when outdoors,” said Mike Robinson, member of the Indoor Sports Facility Committee. “It will increase the number and diversity of recreational sport leagues during winter months, plus can be used by anyone interested in active living, such as after-school youth groups and seniors groups.”

All ages and levels of bike riders—from kids on striders to adults on mountain bikes—will have a new place to play once the Elkford Community Enhancement Society constructs a two-acre non-motorized bike park. This space will encourage people to be physically active, enable current riders to develop their skills and help spread the passion for biking.

“When we asked the residents of Elkford what they wanted to see as additions to the community landscape, a bike park was one of the top attractions listed,” said Brad Cromey, Project Manager. “This bike park will be the only purpose-designed action sports area in or around Elkford and will provide a safe, inclusive place for large numbers of kids and families alike to be active and outdoors.”

The following are grants to East Kootenay projects

  • $24,000 to the City of Cranbrook for Cranbrook Cycling Network to develop a cycling network focusing on commuting, active living and recreation.
  • $3,000 to the East Kootenay Climbing Association for Perry Creek Access Trail Development; build a trail to access the climbing area at Perry Creek near Cranbrook.
  • $500,000 to Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA) for its Indoor Sports Facility project that will allow year-round access to field-based sport in Cranbrook.
  • $7,640 to Kootenay Rockies ATV Club for the construction of a multi-purpose, shared-use trail to move motorized users off industrial-use roads in the Perry Creek area near Cranbrook.
  • $35,000 to Trails BC for the Cranbrook Great Trail Loop Project; a loop trail around Cranbrook that will link with existing infrastructure.
  • $8,440 to the Edgewater Recreation Society to install a permanent net to allow concurrent use of the adjacent Frank’s Rink.
  • $19,000 to the Elkford Community Enhancement Society for the Elkford Bike Park; build a non-motorized bike park for all ages.
  • $20,500 to the Fairmont Community Association to construct a gravel and asphalt-surfaced bike and walking path from Wilder Loop and Hot Springs Road to the intersection of Columbia River Road and Fairmont Creek Road.
  • $75,000 to the Fernie Pets Society to develop an off-leash dog park and trail network (Railyard Parks and Trails).
  • $65,900 to the Fernie Snowmobile Association for the Wranglers Cabin construction; a backcountry shelter that will better serve a variety of users.
  • $75,000 to the Fernie Trail Alliance for the construction of an inclusive trail network that will provide access to the backcountry for everyone, regardless of ability or experience.
  • $50,000 to the Isabella Dicken Elementary School PAC Society to construct an intermediate playground at Isabella Dicken Elementary School in Fernie.
  • $250,000 to the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance to build the Lakeview Segment of the Westside Legacy Trail.
  • $115,300 to the Columbia Valley Cycling Society to construct and upgrade mountain bike and multi-use infrastructure in the Mount Swansea area with a focus on intermediate-level options and increasing usability for families.
  • $13,000 to the Summit Trail Makers Society to construct a trail to the summit of Mount Pinto that will bypass the dangerous sections on the old trail and distinguish between human and animal trails.
  • $7,500 to the Kimberley Biathlon Club to build a permanent warming hut for the Kimberley Biathlon Club for shared use with the Kimberley Nordic Club to entice more people to become involved in the sport.
  • $191,000 to the Kimberley Gymnastics Society to build a new facility to accommodate increased membership in gymnastics and provide additional programming for trampoline, parkour and competitive gymnastics.
  • $120,000 to the Village of Radium Hot Springs to build an outdoor rink that will be used year-round for recreational activities.

See the list of all the projects funded in the Columbia Basin, including those for the Creston and Golden areas.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit or call 1-800-505-8998.

Lead image: The Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association will build an indoor sports facility like this one, thanks to support from a Columbia Basin Trust Recreation Infrastructure Grant. (Photo credit: The Farley Group)


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