There’s little more glorious than enjoying the spectacular outdoors and delightful communities of the places we call home. People living in the Basin care deeply about the environment and the impacts of climate change. Therefore, the Trust has implemented a range of programs that help communities, First Nations, small- and medium- sized businesses and non-profit organizations become more climate resilient, keeping people and places safe while reducing their own contributions to climate change. Here are some of the projects undertaken over the past year.
Maximize energy efficiency
Non-profits, communities, First Nations and small- and medium- sized businesses have taken steps like purchasing electric vehicles and doing energy retrofits on community-use buildings. Affordable rental housing groups have also upgraded their units to be more enviro-friendly and reduce costs, plus keep them comfortable for tenants.
“These activities will support our low-cost housing mandate by keeping utility costs lower for residents, and provide a more environmentally friendly footprint for our building by taking advantage of the latest technologies.”
— Gerald Panio, Chair, Bluebell Manor Society in Riondel, which is installing solar panels on its five units of affordable rental housing for seniors.
“This project will improve energy efficiency and conservation and reduce our carbon footprint, helping us meet our climate action goals.”
— Lisa Scott, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of New Denver, which is completing energy-efficiency upgrades on Bosun Hall.
Communities and First Nations are prioritizing the safety of their people and structures by taking preventative measures to reduce the threat and potential damage of wildfire. This includes prepping ahead in ways like purchasing equipment, training members and doing prescribed burns. Funding partners for select Trust programs include the Province’s Ministry of Forests and BC Wildfire Service.
“Having dedicated, local staff completing a wide range of tasks will help develop more community FireSmart champions in these locations and will grow wildfire risk-reduction activities over time.”
— Darcy Mooney, Manager, Operations Management, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, which is hiring a Wildfire Mitigation Specialist and local FireSmart Representatives for Golden and Revelstoke.
This procurement of equipment and training will improve our capacity and effectiveness, as well as safety, as we provide rapid, compassionate and professional services that keep our community safe.”
— David Snyder, volunteer, Fauquier Volunteer Fire Brigade, which is purchasing wildfire-fighting equipment and training its members.
Prepare for emergencies
Residents need an emergency gathering space to shelter from hazards like intense heat. Emergency personnel need an operations base during disasters. To these ends, communities are preparing to cope with extreme events by ensuring that essential buildings are ready to spring into action.
“With these much-needed upgrades to our community hall, we will be able to provide a safe and dependable space for the people of Ymir.”
— Tamara Rushforth, Treasurer, Ymir Community Association, which is improving the Ymir Community Hall through activities like adding a backup generator and improving accessibility.
“One of the aims of the resiliency centre is to create a safe location during emergencies that the local population can access, but also a place where FireSmart education will take place.”
— Stephan Martineau, Manager, Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative, which is renovating Slocan Valley’s Appledale Hall into a resiliency centre and treating the land around it to reduce wildfire risk.