Throughout the pandemic demand for outdoor recreation assets has been growing, and the Columbia Basin Trust has provided support to numerous projects in the Kootenays.
In total, 18 projects have been supported with $1.47 million in funding from CBT.
Projects range from playgrounds to fencing for softball parks to disc golf courses.
Below are just a few of the projects:
A Playground Gets Creative
A sculpture that kids can play on—made by local artists—will be just one of the features of a new-and-improved playground in Argenta. The Argenta Community Association playground committee is repairing and relocating the current playground equipment, plus adding elements like a playable sculpture and geodesic dome.
“With a local surge in the youth population, it is clear that now is the time to diversify the play experience for different ages and skill levels, and the project will provide a safe, fun, healthy way for kids to play together outside,” said Swen Birch, Board member. “We are blessed to have skilled builders and sculptors who have won people’s choice awards at Castlegar Sculpturewalk multiple times. To have something the kids can be inspired by, and that makes them proud of where they are from, is priceless.”
Wheeled Users Get More Space to Play
Golden Freeride Park is a popular spot—and an expansion aims to make it even more attractive to a variety of users. The Golden Skateboard Association is partnering with the Town of Golden to extend the park, built in 2005, to provide additional ways for skateboarders, BMX bikers and other wheeled users to grow and test their skills.
“This expansion project will complement the existing park and bring a new level of engagement and excitement to the space,” said Wade Duchman, President, Golden Skateboard Association. “Enhancing this outdoor space will promote healthy gatherings and ensure this spot continues to be one of Golden’s best-loved community parks.”
A City Plans Big
For years, Swan Avenue in Kimberley has boasted a basketball court and ice rink. This spot will now expand to become an accessible, multipurpose park with amenities like a zip line, climbing structure, picnic tables, pathway and gazebo, thanks to a project made possible by Healthy Kimberley, the City of Kimberley and a group of dedicated community volunteers.
“If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that safe, outdoor community spaces are essential for a healthy population,” said Nicole Halasz, Manager of Parks and Facilities, City of Kimberley. “Swan Avenue Park will not simply be a children’s playground; it will be an outdoor gathering space with an innovative design to encourage social interactions and intergenerational play.”
Improving a Slippery Surface
In 2021, the Slocan Park Community Hall Society installed an ice rink for the winter months on the hall’s multipurpose field, which became a big hit with locals. Now it is upgrading the rink by levelling the field and buying an ice rink liner.
“The ice rink has added a place for winter physical activity for children to seniors,” said Ruth Hackett, President. “It has been a huge success, with skaters of all ages and abilities together on the ice—perfect for COVID winters—and has made the hall’s multipurpose field even more active.”
Columbia Basin Trust operates in the unceded traditional territories of the Ktunaxa, Lheidli T’enneh, Secwepemc, Sinixt and Syilx Nations.