View overlooking Okanagan Lake from Giant’s Head Mountain municipal park in Summerland. Photo credit: Contributed

View overlooking Okanagan Lake from Giant’s Head Mountain municipal park in Summerland. Photo credit: Contributed

Province grants $784,000 for Okanagan projects

Rural Dividend grants support Okanagan community projects

The province will allocate $784,000 to several Okanagan communities under the Rural Dividend program.

Funding has been targeted for specific projects in Summerland, Peachland, Osoyoos and Oliver, according to the B.C. Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development ministry.

Summerland has been awarded $435,000 to finalize the trails redevelopment master plan for Giant’s Head Mountain municipal park, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Summerland. This project will include trail work, signage, viewpoint, road and entrance upgrades.

Peachland has been awarded $200,000 to help build a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk for the Beach Avenue waterfront trail, in partnership with Peachland Lions Club, Peachland Pier Group, Rotary Club of Peachland and Peachland Sportsmen’s Association.

Osoyoos will receive $100,000 to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study for the development of a community health centre for the area’s residents and visitors.

The long-term objectives of the health centre project include increasing the number of local doctors and developing partnerships with medical programs to use Osoyoos as a rural training centre.

Oliver will be the recipient of $49,660 to help develop a new brand for the community, including the establishment of a clear identity and marketing strategy.

The Rural Dividend program provides grants of up to $100,000 each for single applicants and up to $500,000 for partnerships to help rural communities stabilize their economies and create long-term local employment.

The program is under review as the province is determining how best to distribute the remaining Rural Dividend funds, taking into account the community impacts of this year’s wildfire season and other exceptional circumstances.

The funding is part of more than $10.1 million being awarded to 90 eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations under the BC Rural Dividend program.