The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) has awarded $658,000 to support 51 community-based environmental projects across the Basin, including three in Revelstoke, through its Environmental Initiatives Program (EIP).
“It is a priority for CBT to encourage long-term stewardship of Basin resources and help build the capacity of residents to take action in meeting environmental challenges,” Rick Allen, the CBT’s program manager for the environment, said in a statement. “We have been supporting residents, community groups and organizations since 2002 on projects that aim to reduce the impacts humans have on local and regional ecosystems and we are excited about these 51 recently approved projects.”
The EIP provides support to community-initiated and supported projects and includes a small grants stream geared at projects under $5,000, and a large grants stream for projects up to $20,000. With a 40 per cent boost in funding this year CBT was able to support more projects.
The local projects are:
- Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology – Environmental Conferences ($13,700) – The Columbia Mountain Institute for Applied Ecology will host two environmental conferences: Human Dimensions in Natural Resource Management in Revelstoke in October 2010 and Carbon Management in the Ecosystems of British Columbia in the spring of 2011. Events will include presentations, a poster session and opportunities for informal dialogue.
- Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier – Junior Naturalist Program and Educational Project Coordinator ($15,000) – The Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier received funding to deliver a Junior Naturalist Program in the Revelstoke area. The program gives children and youth a chance to connect to the natural environment around the City of Revelstoke.
- Illecillewaet Greenbelt Society – Illecillewaet Greenbelt Plant Restoration Project ($5,000) – The Illecillewaet Greenbelt Society received funding to assist in riparian restoration by planting native shrubs and trees in a wetlands area along the Illecillewaet River, within the city limits of Revelstoke.
In addition, there are three Basin-wide projects that either so, or could, have an impact in Revelstoke. They are:
- Bird Studies Canada – BC Breeding Bird Atlas-Columbia Basin Region ($15,000) – This project is associated with the BC Breeding Bird Atlas initiative (2008-2012). Within the Columbia Basin region, a trained group of 200 skilled volunteers are systematically surveying the distribution and abundance of all breeding bird species and their habitats. This project is significantly advancing local and regional conservation planning, addressing issues including species at risk, critical habitat conservation, appropriate industrial development, refining dam mitigation measures and best practices in natural resource management.
- Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) – Wild Voices for Kids ($20,000) – The Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network has received funding to continue developing the Wild Voices for Kids program. Wild Voices for Kids (WVFK) is an environmental and heritage education program for grades K-12 that provides free, curriculum-linked presentations and field trips to schools throughout the Columbia Basin.
- Selkirk College – The Biodiversity Atlas and the UN Year of Biodiversity ($20,000) – Selkirk College, in Castlegar, will complete several new data layers, provide outreach opportunities, and promote and demonstrate the usefulness of the Biodiversity Atlas website as a location where Basin residents can become actively involved in citizen science.
CBT has provided just over $4 million in funding over the past nine years under this program for environmental conservation, restoration, stewardship and education projects across the Basin. In addition to the EIP, CBT takes action on environmental issues in various other ways. To learn more about CBT’s environmental priorities, visit www.cbt.org/environment.