South Island given cash for recreation revitalization
The provincial government handed over $2.8 million in grants to eight municipalities on south Vancouver Island to improve parks, trails, playgrounds and recreation centres.
The funds were part of the $30-million Community Recreation Program, announced by Premier Christy Clark at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention last September.
“We all know how important our recreation amenities are,” said Ida Chong, minister responsible for community, sport and cultural development, in announcing the grants at Henderson Recreation Centre on Wednesday.
The provincial grants will fund up to 80 per cent of the eligible costs for projects that enhance recreation infrastructure.
The largest grants, $400,000 each, were given to Cowichan Valley Regional District to spruce up Bright Angel Park and to Esquimalt to upgrade the fitness area and add space to the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, which was built in 1972.
A grant of $373,718 to Oak Bay means Henderson Recreation Centre will be expanded by 780 square feet, allowing for increased fitness, child-care and specialized programming opportunities. The washrooms will be upgraded as will the heating and weatherproofing systems.
“In this day and age, people in Oak Bay and elsewhere are very active,” said Nils Jensen, mayor of Oak Bay. “The facilities here are oversubscribed — they can’t meet the demand,” he said. “It’s really important to have this centre revitalized.”
Other projects that will receive funding through the program are:
Saanich — $337,500 for an accessible playground at Gyro Park.
Central Saanich — $300,000 to redevelop Centennial Park.
Highlands — $201,896 to upgrade a recreation field and enhance a 2.8-kilometre trail.
Langford — $384,000 for the Glen Lake Beach Park.
Sooke — $250,000 for the Grant Road connector trail.
Victoria — $192,000 for outdoor fitness equipment in three parks.