Summer is the perfect time for getting outside. With a long weekend ahead and sun in the forecast, it’s time to think about what we have in our backyards and the odds are that some of your favourite places to play were supported by Northern Development.
Finding great spots for outdoor recreation in central and northern B.C. is easy. Our recreation sites are powerful tools for tourist and resident attraction and play an integral role in the daily lives of families in the region. Northern Development supports facilities like these through its Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program.
The Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program is open to municipalities, regional districts, First Nations bands and non-profits. The program can cover up to 70% of a project’s budget to a maximum of $30,000 in funding for projects. These projects aim to improve, expand, or develop facilities to increase activities in the community that contribute to the local economy.
“The people of central and northern B.C. know how to work hard and play hard. The region offers limitless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Such facilities play an essential role in promoting active communities throughout our region and we are proud to support them.”says Northern Development chair, Evan Saugstad.
From Lytton to Chetwynd to Bralorne, the Trust is investing in the future of outdoor sport infrastructure. Whether these facilities are for competitive sports or family fun, they encourage people to get active.
Battlefield Ball Park in Lytton, Chetwynd Ball Field and Bralorne Ball Diamond are three recent projects getting upgrades. The projects have received $21,000, $30,000 and $8,300 respectively.
“On behalf of Lytton First Nation and the community, we raise our hands to NDIT for their generous contribution towards the Battlefield Ball Park!” Bobby Jumbo, Lytton First Nations.
The upgrades to the Battlefield Ball Park means that they are ready for their annual fundraising event on July 29th.
The Chetwynd Recreational Softball League also received funding for a new dugout and other upgrades to their ball field. “With the help of Northern Development and local business support we have been able to upgrade our aging Infrastructure. These upgrades will allow us to be a more desirable place for teams to travel to for tournaments in the peace region.” Brody Janzen
Recent funding to the Bralorne Ball Diamond upgraded fencing that had fallen into disrepair. This project means more than new fences for Bralorne, it means continuing a tradition dating back to the 1930s.
The ball diamond is host to the Bralorne Ball Tournament, an annual tournament that has been running on and off since the 1930s. Today it is an invitation-only tournament composed of seven out-of-town teams and the Bralorne team. The tournament is run by the Bralorne Community Advisory Committee around the Canada Day weekend. Out-of-town teams usually camp in the area and support many local businesses. The ball tournament is the only event that is held annually in Bralorne that brings together the whole town for a weekend of fun, which ends with dancing and live music.
Exploring trail networks carry on the tradition of adrenalin-pumping adventure in the region. Whether walking, rolling or biking, trail networks are an asset to any community. They are multi-use, with many being accessible regardless of ability or skill level. Trails provide communities with recreation opportunities year-round.
On Canada Day, one of the newest mountain bike trails in the region opened in Valemount. Designed to help beginner riders improve their skills, the trail, “Bacon includes a few features that also appeal to advanced riders. When asked why they chose ‘Bacon’ as the trail name, Curtis Pawliuk, General Manager of Valemount Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA) responded, “Because it’s just that good.”
“Our new Flow Trail has provided a high quality outdoor experience that can be enjoyed by riders of all skill levels. Bacon acts as an introductory, low risk option for newer riders to gain experience needed to ride larger and more advance trails…its also super fun for experienced riders as well!”
Contributions to Valemount Area Recreation Development Association for mountain biking through our Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program have now passed the $50,000 mark.
Spinal Cord Injury BC, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people with spinal cord injuries, is working to create online profiles ranking recreation sites on their ease of accessibility. This project, supported by the Trust and additional government funding, aims to create a central information resource that residents, business and visitors can use to learn about accessible outdoor amenities available in the region.
This project, called Access North, aims to highlight improvements to accessibility in northern communities. More than 150 provincial and regional parks, trail systems and roadside heritage attractions in the North will be profiled and rated on their ease of accessibility.
One such project worth celebrating was completed by the Tabor Mountain Recreation Society (TMRS). This project was recently supported with $30,000 through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program.
One of the many trail networks completed by the TMRS is the mobility nature trail. This trail was developed for seniors, wheelchairs, families and the general public as an opportunity for everyone to enjoy nature. The trail has now been expanded with new benches and tables.
Camping is synonymous with fun summer getaways for many British Columbians. Nostalgic, rustic and fun, camping gives the people of northern and central B.C. a chance to truly unwind. Campsites in the region are popular, well-kept and constantly growing to accommodate more campers.
In Terrace, the Ferry Island Municipal Campground is a hotspot for tourists and locals. The campground’s network of walking trails pass by more than 50 unique tree carvings! Fishing, picnics and bonfires along the Skeena River are a must.
The Trust recently supported the campground with $30,000 for upgrades. “While the project has only just begun, new sites have been incredibly popular and the campground has been so busy.” Says Didier, “By the end of August when the upgrades are complete, we expect to be even busier!”
In total, the Trust has put $1.8 million towards 77 projects directly related to recreation sites used in the summertime. This year, 30 projects related to summer recreation have been approved. The Trust has committed more than $800,000 towards them – a wide variety of projects in the hearts of the communities the Trust serves.
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