The Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) and Sechelt council awarded $100,000 in 2021 grants from the SCCF Legacy Fund on Aug. 11. Five community groups will share the money.
The largest award amount of $30,000 went to the Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society to install submersible well pumps at its Chapman Creek hatchery. The facility is barred from drawing water from the creek when flows drop below 200 litres per second. That situation has occurred multiple times in the past five years. In 2020, the hatchery had to stop keeping fish stock at the site. This year’s work is the follow-up phase of a 2020 project, when the fund provided $40,000 for development of a second well at the site as an alternative to use of creek water to maintain operations.
The One Straw Society was awarded $20,000 to complete construction of a “Tiny Barn” project. The barn will be located on the “One Tiny Farm” in Roberts Creek, which is the home of the society’s community garden and event space. It will be used to store equipment, tools, seeds and supplies.
Expansion of solar energy projects at the Coast’s SPCA facility located on Solar Road in Sechelt received $19,500. A Sunshine Coast Solar Panel Association project will complement the site’s recently installed rooftop solar array with a solar water heating system to replace the existing natural gas water heater. This will help reduce the animal shelter’s operating costs and its carbon footprint.
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 12, based in Halfmoon Bay, was granted $18,500 for a retrofit of the navigation system on its rescue vessel, the Ken Moore. The money is earmarked for updates to the radar, global positioning system, automatic identification system and radios, all of which are over 10 years old.
A grant of $12,000 will help fund the replacement of a bridge crossing Steele Creek in Tetrahedron Park. The bridge washed out in 2016 and its absence has meant park trail users have been detoured onto more difficult and hazardous routes. The Tetrahedron Outdoor Club received the grant. It plans to complete the work, which will improve public, first responders and search and rescue volunteer safety, by October.
Sechelt council provided its stamp of approval to the 2021 grant allocations on Aug. 4 based on SCCF’s Legacy Fund Assessment Committee recommendations. At that meeting, SCCF board member Elise Rudland said three additional applications were received but not recommended for funding by the committee. The board has agreed that in future years, details on applications that do not receive a committee funding recommendation will be provided, she said.
Sechelt, the sole shareholder of SCCF, established the Legacy Fund in 2014. Dividends it receives from SCCF operations and interest earned on those funds are held in the Legacy Fund account. The municipality’s policy is to retain half of those funds and to provide the remainder in grants to non-profit groups and public bodies for capital projects that have the potential to offer lasting benefits to the Coast.
Since 2014, over $1.4 million in grants have been distributed.