Out of more than 14 applicants, the Bowen Island Community Foundation has chosen three local projects to move forward priorities of civic pride, community gathering places and environment. The Bowen Island Garden Gateway Initiative will receive $15 thousand; the Bowen Island Youth Centre will receive $2,500 for two programs; and the joint Library and Arts Council project, the Cove Culture Corner will receive $15 thousand.
Holly Graff submitted the proposal for the Garden Gateway Project, which she says was inspired by the widening of the walkway between the ferry waiting area and the cenotaph and also by the Community Foundation’s Vital Conversation’s workshop.
“The Imagine Snug Cove Facebook page was being used as a sort of inspiration board, and the suggestion that we create some beautiful landscaping on the widened area caught on,” she says. “During the Vital Conversations workshop, the idea of civic pride came up in the context of beautifying the Cove. So I thought this would be a perfect idea to submit as a grant proposal.”
Graff said she contacted architect James Tuer and garden designer Wynn Nielsen to help craft a plan. She also started a conversation with municipal CAO Kathy Lalonde about how to craft such a proposal that would take place on municipal land.
The vision crafted by Tuer and Nielsen would incorporate a stone seating area with native plants alongside the walkway. The proposal describes it this way:
The overall vision is for it is area to be a more welcoming experience that would encourage vibrant interaction among residents and visitors alike.
The Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association will be the recipient of the funding for this project, pending approval from council.
Funding for the Bowen Youth Centre will get two eight week programs up and running. Two-thousand dollars will go into opening up the BICS gym for sports and games on Saturday evenings, a program that Youth Services Coordinator John Stiver says was extremely popular in 2012. The other $500 will go into buying groceries for a weekly “Dinner Party” program.
“There are some kids who come to the Youth Centre who are really interested in cooking and baking, others who don’t even know how to turn on a stove and cook pasta,” says Stiver. ““Felicity Buskard, who works at the Youth Centre, is a trained chef and used to own a café. She and Kat Bernard have been doing some cooking with the kids already, but this will be more formalized. Felicity will develop a menu based on available produce, and the youth who participate in the cooking will sit down and enjoy it in a dinner party-type atmosphere afterwards. We want to make sure that kids get basic kitchen skills and they also learn to recognize what’s healthy and what isn’t.”
Soren Hammerberg, Chair of the Community Foundation, says that supporting youth was another area identified as a priority during the Vital Conversations, and that youth programs are perpetually underfunded.
The third project that is being offered funding through the Community Impacts Grants is the Cove, Culture Corner; which is a joint project of the Library and the Bowen Island Arts Council. The groups will initially be given $2,600 for a feasibility study, and if the study supports the plan, the Community Foundation will offer up another $12,400 towards capital costs for the project.
Hammerberg says that these grants are just one part of the Community Foundation’s work. The Helping Hand Fund, for example, donates $10 thousand per year to local families in need. Hammerberg also says the Foundation is also looking forward to working with the new municipal council to implement the distribution of money from the Maggie Cummings Legacy Fund, which will ensure the development of trails and greenways on Bowen Island.
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