Columbia Basin Trust will award nearly $40,000 in grants to support two of West Kootenay EcoSociety's programs in 2013. The funds were awarded through the Environmental Initiatives Program. The grants will support EcoSociety's efforts to maintain and improve the values of Kootenay Lake through the Friends of Kootenay Lake program, which is a partnership with Wildsight and the Kootenay Lake Partnership. The Kokanee Creek Visitor Centre will also receive funding to provide environmental education and outreach at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.
The Friends of Kootenay Lake program will enter its second year in 2013, with plans to implement lake monitoring in several communities around the lake. The program will help community members develop and implement action projects for lake improvement. Other components of the 2013 program will include stewardship education about appropriate foreshore development in conjunction with the Kootenay Lake Partnership. The Real Estate Foundation of BC is also supporting the Friends of Kootenay Lake program.
The Kokanee Visitor Centre program is entering its third year after two great seasons. In 2012, the number of visitors increased 10% over the previous year, with more than 11,000 people coming through the centre, and more than 2500 people attending programs. The inaugural Red Fish Festival brought more than 1100 people to the Park to celebrate the Kokanee Spawning. In 2013, the program aims to bring more local residents to the centre for programs about our local ecosystems, and will host day camps for kids. BC Parks, Friends of West Kootenay Parks, RDCK Areas E and F, and Osprey Foundation have also supported the project.
West Kootenay EcoSociety is very grateful to Columbia Basin Trust for its continued support of these valued programs.