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Non-profits, First Nations upgrade vehicles and buildings with Trust support

February 27th, 2023

To reduce their impacts on the climate and remain sustainable into the future, non-profit organizations and First Nations across the Columbia Basin are undertaking 22 projects, supported by Columbia Basin Trust.

These involve activities like purchasing new electric vehicles, or replacing fossil fuel vehicles with electric ones, installing charging stations or doing energy retrofits and repairs on community-use buildings.  

“We’re pleased to help even more non-profits and First Nations increase the energy efficiency of their buildings and electrify their transportation,” said Ulli Mueller, Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits, Columbia Basin Trust.

“These organizations can continue their vital work toward community well-being, while building their climate resilience.” 

The projects may include purchasing up to two new battery or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, replacing up to two fossil-fuel vehicles with electric vehicles, or purchasing and installing level 2 or 3 charging stations to help create clean transportation options for Basin residents. Several projects also focus on building improvements that aim to conserve or generate energy, restore a building envelope, its structural building components or address health and safety issues. 

The Trust is providing over $2 million for these projects, which can be viewed here.

Kootenay Society for Community Living  

The Kootenay Society for Community Living (KSCL) is purchasing an electric vehicle and a level 2 charging station to support its community outreach programming for individuals and families. 

“We currently support over 145 adults and teens who live throughout the West Kootenay, so transportation is a vital part of all our programs,” said Kathleen Elias, Executive Director.

“Along with cost savings, KSCL is lowering its carbon footprint and becoming environmentally responsible. As well, installing a dual charging station ensures the electric vehicle is ready for daily usage and prepares us for future electric vehicle purchases.” 

Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank  

The Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank is upgrading its building with solar panels, a heat pump, LED lighting and insulation. 

“This opportunity will allow the Kimberley Helping Hand Food Bank to continue down its new path to better serve its community while saving on operations costs, being more self-sufficient and implementing green initiatives,” said Thom Tarte, Manager. “This is a very forward-thinking project and a great complement to our new building as we move toward a more progressive and sustainable approach to operations and facilities.” 

Valemount Public Library  

Valemount Public Library is upgrading its building, including replacing the roof and upgrading the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  

“Our 34-year-old building is sorely in need of a new HVAC system for both financial and health reasons: to reduce our hydro bills and add adequate air filtration, made even more important since COVID-19,” said Wendy Cinnamon, Library Director.

“A new roof will prevent leaks and stop large piles of snow from falling at the base of the building, keeping moisture out of and away from the library building.” 

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin.

To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.orgor call 1.800.505.8998. 

Photo Caption: The Kootenay Society for Community Living (KSCL) is purchasing an electric vehicle and a level 2 charging station with support from the Trust. Here, the vehicle is seen with KSCL and Trust staff. (From left to right: Kathleen Elias, KSCL Executive Director and Leah Biln, Program Coordinator, Delivery of Benefits, Columbia Basin Trust.) 

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