Preserving a Local Oasis

Residents of Meadowbrook near Kimberley banded together to protect the area surrounding Cherry Creek Falls. The result was a new day-use regional park. The group formed in 2011 after a proposal to build a rock quarry adjacent to the falls spurred them into action. Working with the Regional District of East Kootenay and with Trust support, the group raised the funds required to create a 40-acre park and parking lot. Now the falls will be preserved for generations to enjoy.


The Future is Here

Electric vehicles will soon be a viable option thanks to Accelerate Kootenays. This new initiative will see 13 Direct Current Fast Charging stations installed by December 2018. Also, 40 Level 2 stations are planned for highways 1, 3 and 95, creating a robust charging station network that will connect Basin communities. The two-year project is a collaboration between the regional districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary and is facilitated by the Community Energy Association. It is being supported by the Trust, the Province, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, FortisBC and BC Hydro. It will drive tourism, make it feasible for Basin residents to drive an electric vehicle and ultimately reduce carbon emissions in the area. “This project demonstrates how a collaborative approach will benefit the entire Kootenay region,” says Rob Gay, Board Chair of the Regional District of East Kootenay.


Teaching Through Tradition

Early childhood education students who wanted a program founded on Ɂakisq ̕nuk values, beliefs and traditions had a unique opportunity to train locally this year. With Trust support, 12 students piloted the Eva Joseph Learning and Cultural Society Entry to Early Childhood Education program in Windermere, which helped address shortages in the child care workforce. “This is the only formal training I have ever taken that incorporated my community’s traditions, nutrition and beliefs,” says Glenda Joseph, student and Ɂakisq ̕nuk community member. “We use natural materials, twigs, charcoal, dried meats and berries as supplies in our classroom and in the community playgroup we designed for the Columbia Valley.”


Sustainable Recreation at Koocanusa

The Koocanusa area is important for its natural and cultural values. Its beauty and recreational opportunities also attract many users – which has had some unintended consequences, such as damage to sensitive ecosystems and disturbance to wildlife habitats. The Province, Ktunaxa Nation Council, Tobacco Plains Indian Band, the Regional District of East Kootenay and the Trust created a new strategy that aims to tackle these impacts on Crown land. Key actions include educating users through signage and printed materials; adding natural resource officers; creating an inventory of roads, trails, camping sites and staging areas; and continuing to engage with local groups. The goal is to foster more sustainable and responsible recreation, safeguarding Koocanusa for generations to come. Read the full strategy here.


Waste Not, Want Not

The Revelstoke community is keeping food out of landfills and putting food into tummies instead. In 2016, the Community Connections Society in Revelstoke started its Food Recovery Program, which recovers perfectly good food that’s about to be thrown out from places like grocery stores. Since then it has collected over 45,000 kilograms (100,000 pounds) of food and distributed it to community agencies and families in need. Now, with Trust support, the society has hired a dedicated program coordinator to source even more nutritious foods, improve the distribution system and help people make smart food choices on limited budgets.