Twenty-nine projects throughout the Columbia Basin will help address the health of local species and spaces, from swallows and salmon to wetlands and forests through research, restoration and education. The projects are being supported with nearly $820,000 from Columbia Basin Trust’s Environment Grants.

“Each project has a specific focus, but altogether they have broad benefits for strengthening the environmental well-being of this region,” said Brianna Burley, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Environment. “By undertaking on-the-ground work today, these organizations are creating positive results that will stretch into the future.”

The program helps fund projects that target ecosystems, climate, water and environmental education. See the complete list of approved projects at ourtrust.org/environmentgrants.

In various locations around the Basin, Living Lakes Canada will work with citizens, local governments, and others to collect data, that otherwise would not be collected. This information can then be used in water management decisions, climate adaptation planning, and conservation planning to ensure sustainable water supplies for human use and to maintain healthy ecosystems.

“Groundwater helps maintain water levels and quality in wetlands, streams, rivers and lakes, which are vital for healthy ecosystems and provide habitat for fish, waterfowl and wildlife,” said Carol Luttmer, Program Coordinator. “Monitoring groundwater provides information that could be used to manage multiple needs.”

The Town of Creston will convert three former water reservoirs and 10 acres of land into habitats for species ranging from barn swallows, to western toads, to moths. Activities will include removing old liners, re-sloping steep embankments, developing shallow-water wetlands and fish habitat, building a bat condo and installing educational signage.

“The project will allow the municipality to return unusable land back to public use while increasing, improving and providing habitat for various species,” said Michael Moore, Chief Administrative Officer. “The diversity of wetlands and fish habitat will provide an opportunity for visitors to the area, including Creston Valley youth, to better appreciate and learn about the natural world.”

In Revelstoke, the North Columbia Environmental Society will continue to expand its Junior Naturalist Program. This program offers camps during spring break, summer and professional development days for children aged four to 11 that focus on topics like hydrology, geology, flora and fauna and snow science.

“The program allows youth to get outside, explore, be active, get dirty and have fun with friends while learning about conservation, sustainable living and climate change,” said Kate Borucz, Executive Director. “By engaging youth in environmental programming, they build their personal relationships to the natural world and are more inclined to protect it as they grow and become active members of the community.”

In Fernie, the Elk River Alliance will continue to educate people on stormwater management and to develop a stormwater wetland. The Elk Valley Stormwater Solutions Phase II will receive $19,803.

Environment Grants are just one of the ways the Trust supports environmental efforts around the region. Learn more about its other initiatives, like the Climate Action, Ecosystem Enhancement and Community Wildfire programs, at ourtrust.org/environment.

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.org or call 1.800.505.8998.

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