Wycliffe Park.

CBT approves three Castlegar-area infrastructure projects

Three Castlegar-area projects were approved by Columbia Basin Trust to receive a chunk of $1.8 million in funding announced Thursday.

Three Castlegar-area projects were approved by Columbia Basin Trust to receive a chunk of $1.8 million in funding announced Thursday, March 16, to go toward building infrastructure that encourages active lifestyles.

“The Recreation Infrastructure Grants program supports community efforts to create new or upgrade existing recreation facilities and trails in the region,” a release from the CBT said.

The three projects receiving funding are:

$24,500 — Castlegar Nordic Ski Club, Paulson Ski Trails, Infrastructure Upgrade

Upgrade priority trail sections, construct a new connector ski trail, replace an old ski bridge, modify a terrain park training area and improve directional signage.

$40,000 — Castlegar Parks and Trails Society, Castlegar Bike Park

Develop a bike park to provide recreational opportunities for residents and visitors by creating a facility where cyclists of all levels can have fun and build a variety of skill sets.

$150,000 — (RDCK Area J) Columbia and Western Trail Society, Columbia and Western Trail Re-surface Project

Resurface an eight-kilometre section of existing rail trail to increase usability and access for all users.

Since the program launched in early 2016, the Trust has funded 100 projects with $6.3 million, including 222 kilometres on 43 trails, 36 outdoor facilities like playgrounds and tennis courts and 10 other facilities like riding arenas and gymnasiums. Projects are located in 34 Basin communities. The final intake for the program will open November 2017.

“Residents have told us they would like the Trust’s help to build stronger, more resilient and more enjoyable communities, and part of this is having the amenities they need to lead active, healthy lifestyles,” said Kindy Gosal, Columbia Basin Trust Director, Special Initiatives.

“We’re pleased to see such a positive response to the program, and we’re happy to support these community-based projects that have a lot of the preparatory work done, have commitments for other funding, and have local residents willing to pitch in and make the project work.”

Recent recipients include the following:

A trail for all abilities

It already gives you a fantastic view over Slocan Lake, and now the Butter Mountain trail in Rosebery is going to get even better. The North Slocan Trails Society will be nearly doubling the trail by adding seven kilometres to the existing 8.7-kilometre trail. This includes a 3.5-kilometre section for bikers who may use equipment like hand bikes, trike bikes and wheelchair bikes.

“Studies show that mountain biking brings in tourism, and this project will expand the user experience and establish the North Slocan as a recreation destination, including for adaptive mountain bikers,” said Mike Koolen, project manager. “Plus for many locals, trails are the sole source of exercise and recreation. They too will benefit from increased trail opportunities.”

A permanent home for a popular sport

Disc golf is one of the fastest-growing sports in North America: healthy, easy to learn, suitable for all ages and skill levels and inexpensive. To encourage the sport in the Kootenays, the Elk Valley Disc Golf Association will be installing a permanent 18-hole disc golf course at Wycliffe Regional Park.

“This new, well-designed course will help grow the sport locally and provide the opportunity to host provincial events in the Cranbrook area,” said board member Fraser Bowden. “It will provide seasoned players opportunities to improve their games, attract new players to the sport and create a venue to host organized tournaments and league play.”

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 ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.

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