A trio of projects are getting in on some Northern Development project funding.
The City of Dawson Creek, Saulteau First Nations, and Tumbler Ridge Geopark, are each getting significant funds.
“These approvals support our vision of Northern B.C. having growing, energetic communities by investing $2.1 million into crucial infrastructure and housing projects,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust.
“By improving housing options and increasing food security, communities will be able to better retain and attract residents. Other projects allow communities to celebrate and share their culture, history and skills, increasing vibrancy and creating opportunities for economic development and diversification.”
Manda Maggs, executive director, Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Society agreed.
“Constructing a modern, accessible and welcoming interpretive centre in Tumbler Ridge will go a long way in supporting regional tourism, improving local infrastructure, supporting entrepreneurship and providing economic stability,” she said.
“As natural resource prices continue to fluctuate around the globe, this project offers economic diversification for the region while building on the Peace’s growing reputation as a tourism destination.”
$300,000 was approved for the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Society through the Cultural Infrastructure grant program for the construction of a permanent multi-use interpretive centre. The project will support the development and diversification of the Tumbler Ridge region and help meet the 2022 UNESCO revalidation requirements, which will enable it to retain its economically vital, coveted UNESCO status as a place of paleontological, historical and geological world importance. The new centre will include permanent displays, outdoor interpretive area, community gathering space with performance stage and a café.
$135,875 was approved through the Economic Infrastructure grant program to the Saulteau First Nations for the purchase and installation of a modular, commercial hydroponic greenhouse system. This project will increase food security in the community, promote food sovereignty, provide an accessible platform for health and nutrition education while creating employment and training opportunities for community members. Plants grow faster in a hydroponic greenhouse than traditional farming and produce can be grown from seed to mature plant in less than six weeks. It is anticipated that 500 units of produce will be made available every week to community members once the system in full operation.
$117,937 was also approved for the City of Dawson Creek through the Recreation Infrastructure grant program for facility improvements at the Kenn Borek Aquatic Centre. The project will include upgrading the lockers in the universal changerooms, resurfacing flooring in the main entrance, lobby, party room and front desk area. This is the third grant Northern Development has approved for the aquatic centre, after disbursing $50,000 in 2019 for upgrades to the diving board area and $50,000 in 2018 for improvements to patron-related infrastructure to improve the guest experience.