Year-round, people in the Columbia Basin get together outside to enjoy themselves and connect with each other. Eight communities are now undertaking nine projects to make public spaces even more inviting and useable with support from nearly $1.43 million from Columbia Basin Trust’s community outdoor revitalization grants.
“A welcoming outdoor space can touch upon people’s lives in so many ways,” said Will Nixon, senior manager of delivery of benefits, Columbia Basin Trust.
“From adding picnic spots and fire pits, to larger structures like gazebos and stages, communities throughout the region have focused on enhancing their spaces to get people safely together outdoors, as health regulations allow.”
The Trust’s community outdoor revitalization grants help communities create, restore or enhance welcoming, safe and vibrant outdoor multi-use community spaces that support community gathering and programming.
Modernizing for This Century
Many people have enjoyed Centennial Park in New Denver for its playground, beach, campground and Kohan Reflection Garden, to attend events like the Hills Garlic Festival, May Days and adaptive sports programs, or simply to enjoy its spectacular view. Last year, the Trust supported the village to develop a Centennial Park master plan.
From the public engagement undertaken through the master plan process, residents of the village determined how they wanted the park to evolve – soon the park will have even more impressive amenities, including a new covered stage, a patio featuring a fire pit and benches, and year-round washrooms.
“Investing in this space creates a welcoming park and improved services, benefiting residents and enticing others to visit and stay,” said Jessica Rayner, community planner. “The result will be an attractive, thoughtfully designed, inclusive facility that will attract visitors and gatherings throughout the year.”
“Residents of Johnsons Landing value the hall tremendously as it’s the only public access building in the community and is the heart and hub of our social connections,” said chair Karen Newmoon.
“This project is all about making our outdoor area more user friendly through keeping people safe, protecting our grass and play areas and making the space more inviting for outdoor social interactions.”
Other grants include $204,000 to the City of Nelson to enhance the useability, aesthetics and safety of the Cottonwood Falls Park by installing shade structures, seasonal lighting, planters and bike racks and improving accessibility to the falls.
The Kaslo Outdoor Recreation and Trails Society will receive $17,000 to build a picnic shelter, and the Lardeau Valley Historical Socieyt will get $5,200 to increase the landscaped area around the museum to add more community event space and allow for additional outdoor exhibits.