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Slocan Valley, Salmo receive grants from Outdoor Recreation Fund of BC

The Nelson Daily Staff
By The Nelson Daily Staff
July 9th, 2024

Two local organizations will received grants to enhance outdoor recreation trails the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC (ORCBC) said in a media release Tuesday.

This first round of funding has awarded $250,000 in grants to 30 deserving recipients across the province — including the Slocan Valley Rail Trail Society ($6,400) and Salmo Valley Trail Society ($10,000).

“We are immensely proud and inspired by the response to our first grant intake,” said Louise Pedersen, Executive Director at ORCBC.

“The overwhelming number of applications and the diverse range of high-quality projects demonstrate the deep commitment of volunteer-led recreation groups, First Nations and local governments to enhancing and preserving our outdoor spaces. We are excited to see the positive impact these grants will start have on communities in B.C.”

The Slocan Valley Rail Trail Society is using the funds for Winter Rail Trail access. The money will be used to maintain winter access on the Slocan Valley Rail Trail for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and walking through grooming, packing and track-setting the gravelled part of the trail (46 km); clearing the snow off the paved section of the trail (4km); and parking maintenance.

The Slocan Valley Rail Trail offers easy non-motorized access to 52 km of breathtaking scenery that follows the contours of the Slocan River, making its way from Slocan Lake in the north, towards the Kootenay River in the south, with multiple entry and exit areas.

In Salmo, the Valley Trail Society will get $10,000 to enhance trail safety, accessibility, and sustainability by rerouting True Blue for improved user safety, increasing accessibility through the Mama Bear extension, expanding parking at Hooch Creek, and engaging the community in the trail network’s growth and accessibility efforts.

The application period, open through April 2024, saw an overwhelming response from non-profit organizations, local governments, and Indigenous governments. ORCBC received an impressive 208 applications, collectively requesting $1.8 million in funding. Each application featured projects ready for immediate launch and included a matching contribution—cash or in-kind—that equalled or exceeded the requested funds.

The Outdoor Recreation Fund of BC supports grants for community-based initiatives that create and enhance meaningful outdoor recreational and nature-based experiences for British Columbians. The grant program focuses on projects within one or more of three priority areas:

  1. Outdoor Enhancement: Supports community groups in enhancing and maintaining outdoor recreation infrastructure such as trails, signage, campsites, boat launches, and more.

  2. Stewardship and Education: Promotes responsible use of the outdoors through education and stewardship initiatives that minimize environmental, cultural, and safety impacts of outdoor activities.

  3. Inclusive Participation: Encourages accessible, inclusive, and diverse outdoor recreation opportunities, particularly for under-represented groups.

The Outdoor Recreation Fund of BC helps to address the long-standing need to support volunteer-based organizations and community groups that are crucial in maintaining and building trails and other recreational infrastructure, protecting and restoring natural areas, and delivering programs that make outdoor recreation accessible and safe for everyone. In May 2023, the Province of B.C. jump-started this vital support by contributing $10 million to ORCBC, establishing the first-ever endowment fund of its kind in B.C. The fund will generate income to fuel a yearly grant program administered by ORCBC.

ORCBC invites British Columbians to support the future efforts of dedicated volunteer-based organizations and community groups by helping the organization grow the Outdoor Recreation Fund of BC.

For more information, please email

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