RDKB Directors board bus for Boundary Region tour
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors recently toured several sites in the Boundary to give Directors a greater insight into our westerly communities.
“This tour provided an essential opportunity for all RDKB Directors to experience the diversity of our Regional District from community forest projects for our ecosystem, the deep heritage of municipalities and electoral areas, to community projects of food production and gathering places,” said Linda Worley, Chair of the RDKB Board.
Directors visited the RDKB-owned Riverside Centre in Rock Creek, which is operated and managed by the Trails to the Boundary Society.
Trails to Boundary staff explained the many services available to the public, including an information centre, community gathering space, credit union, free internet/WiFi/laptop use, artists’ gallery, office rentals, and electric vehicle charging stations.
John Bolt, mayor of the smallest city in Canada – Greenwood – showed off the municipality’s impressive heritage assets, including the museum and City Hall.
The Directors went for a nature walk at the West Boundary Community Forest’s (WBCF) Outdoor Education Center at Wilgress Lake. WBCF members Dan Macmaster and Heinz Kreuzer led the Board around the Kootenay mix woodlot.
The site is used to educate kids about forestry and ecology and demonstrate responsible forest management practices.
The Board also got back to the land at the bountiful one-acre community garden in Midway.
Director Richard Dunsdon proudly toured the Board through the rows of organic fruits and vegetables. Residents can rent garden plots for $5/year. Volunteers are on site every day during the growing season. Visitors are encouraged to drop by and see what organic delights are available to purchase.
In Grand Forks, Directors saw organic matter in action at the landfill. Rob McGregor, Solid Waste Operations Coordinator, explained the complicated process required to turn kitchen waste into compost.
Directors were so impressed by the operation that the RDKB has decided to film a short documentary about it to inform our residents about our ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep organics our of our landfills.
While in Grand Forks, the Board stopped by Saddle Lake Dam on Reservoir Road, which is owned and monitored by the RDKB. Created in 1915 by Doukhobors for irrigation purposes, the lake is home to a rare salamander.
Further up the road, the Board viewed Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Village, a 16-acre historic site the RDKB acquired from The Land Conservancy.
The Board finished its tour by viewing the City of Grand Forks’ flood mitigation efforts. Graham Watt, the City’s Manager of Strategic Initiatives/Flood Recovery, pointed out the sheet pile wall, earth berm dike and demountable wall, as well as the site of future restored floodplain. It was noted that these measures were very effective in mitigating the impact of freshet 2023.
“Viewing the valuable work toward the future generations through the landfill preservation of the RDKB green bin composting operation, and the incredible work of flood mitigation at the Grand Forks dike system gave us a greater appreciation for our decisions and the work of the staff and community members who have and will benefit from these efforts,” said Worley.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank everyone for their warmth and hospitality during our tour.”
After the success of its one-day Boundary tour, the Board plans on visiting Christina Lake in September, Big White in March 2024 and the east end in spring of 2024 to get a fuller picture of the diversity of communities in the regional district.