Letters to the Editor: Civic grant advice + we’re at a water tipping point

Dear Editor,

I  noticed your report on the Peachland Council’s discussion on Civic Grants for 2022 (Feb 22, “It’s a very difficult decision”: Peachland CAO) and I wonder if the Societies involved are aware of, or have applied for, funding from other sources.

For example,  BC Gaming Grants up to $100,000 are available annually to support existing programmes.  The available categories cover many of the Societies seeking Civic Grants, such as:

  • Trail and outdoor recreation safety (e.g., hiking, biking or snow trail education and maintenance).
  • Community building (e.g., neighbourhood houses, seniors’ centres, services for newcomers, etc.).
  • Services for people living with a disability or health condition.
  • Visual arts (e.g., painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics).
  • Heritage preservation (e.g., community museums, archives, historical displays).
  • Community crime prevention.
  • Climate action (e.g., awareness, emissions reduction, alternative energy, etc.).
  • Ecosystem conservation (e.g., land stewardship, invasive species removal, greenbelt and watershed protection/maintenance,  garbage clean-up, etc.).
  • Public education on Environmental issues.

From what I can see, most of the Civic Grant applications are for programs that, if presented correctly, would qualify for grants, possibly well in excess of what can be afforded through Civic Grants.  The challenge is that the application itself is not trivial in the first year and must adhere to detailed specifications in terms of the information required if it is to be among the 90+% that are successful.  Once a program is approved, it becomes much easier to apply and receive funding every year.

There are comprehensive resources to assist applications at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/gambling-fundraising/gaming-grants/community-gaming-grants#three. However, perhaps at least some of the Civic Grant money could be redirected by Council to provide somebody with the expertise to assist with BC Gaming Grant applications?  This would enable existing programs to expand while reducing the Tax burden on Peachlanders.

Graham Smith, Peachland

 

***

 

Dear Editor,

It’s encouraging that there seems to be strong interest in Peachland’s water.

Whether discussion is about water conservation, water rates, or the new water treatment plant, these discussions all assume that there IS water to manage. These “end of pipe” issues obscure the real urgency concerning Peachland’s water, – how do we protect and secure the water source – the place our water actually comes from.

We are at a tipping point in Peachland. New residential developments increase demand for water. The changing climate disrupts the historical water cycles, with more unpredictable weather patterns. Weather patterns that we have typically relied upon to recharge our water supply.  Large-scale industrial activities including clear-cut logging have major impacts on water production and collection. We understand we need to conserve water, but it seems we don’t understand the need to protect the source.

Some people will say Peachland Lake is the source of our water, others would say it’s Deep Creek. But there is no single-point source for Peachland’s water supply. Peachland’s water comes from “somewhere” to fill Peachland Lake and the creek. Perhaps if there was one “source’ like a spring or a well, implementing a clear solution to protect it would be simple.  But since the actual source of our water is not one specific feature, but from “somewhere”, the vast area of land west of the town (our watershed), that acts as a funnel for snowmelt and rainwater, protecting such a sizeable area seems like an insurmountable challenge. But it is a challenge that we cannot ignore or pass on to future generations.

Without freshwater security we run the risk of ending up like towns in the US southwest, whose aquifers are dry and the Colorado River almost empty.

Securing our fresh water sources is how Peachland can secure its future. With our water supply protected and secure, we can then develop conservation strategies, financial incentives, and disincentives, and ensure that our town can grow sustainably, in balance with the natural environment that everyone here loves.

The BC government is implementing a Watershed Security Strategy to help communities protect their water sources. If you feel strongly about the source of your fresh water, I urge you to take the short survey to share your thoughts about securing our community water sources.  https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watershedsecurity/

Alex Morrison, Peachland

Written by Kristen Friesen

February 25, 2022

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