Forty-nine projects have been approved to receive funding through Columbia Basin Trust’s environment grants program including four in the Castlegar area.
The grants totalling $1.07 million will be used across the Basin for projects relating to ecosystems, climate, water and environmental education. A complete list of the projects and their descriptions can be found on CBT’s website.
The Kootenay Native Plant Society received $25,000 to “increase the ecological function of riparian meadow ecosystems along the Columbia River in the Castlegar area with a focus on common camas.” The group has been working towards restoring camas — an historically important dietary staple for many indigenous peoples — for many years. According to the society, Castlegar’s Millennium Park appears to have the largest concentration of non-coastal camas in British Columbia.
Wildsight received $2,500 to “gather ecological information about the Brilliant Headpond Reservoir on the Kootenay River to help guide ecological stewardship activities.”
The Okanagan Nation Alliance received $14,600 to “restore riparian habitat along a portion of Pass Creek and provide environmental education opportunities for elementary students and the local community.”
The Federation of BC Naturalists received $2,339 to “develop a citizen science monitoring and education program to gather baseline abundance estimates for the bank swallow, train volunteers to monitor bank swallow colonies, raise awareness of declining insect-eating birds, and provide stewardship information to landowners with bank swallows nesting on their properties.”
“We know residents value a healthy environment,” said Tim Hicks, Columbia Basin Trust manager, water and environment in a press release. “We are pleased to support so many worthwhile projects that will contribute to environmental well-being.”
Several Basin-wide projects will also impact the Castlegar area. The BC Conservation Foundation will work to “improve human-grizzly bear coexistence in the Basin by delivering community-based education and providing practical solutions, such as electric-fencing for attractant management.”
The Hornaday Wilderness Society will “model the population abundance of wolverines to better understand the effects of human disturbance and land management activities on wolverine density within the Columbia Basin.”
The Mainstreams Environmental Society will “deliver an environmental education program for both schools and the public focusing on water science, macro invertebrate ecology, and climate change adaptation.”