Nine projects were successful in the first round of the Williams Lake Community Forest Granting Program.
In 2019 a total of $23,500 is being awarded with grants ranging from $1,500 to $4,500 each.
Mary Thurow, granting co-ordinator for the WLCF, said the call for applications went out in November with a deadline of Dec. 3, 2018 and projects were reviewed by a portion of the Standing Committee.
“The volunteer Standing Committee has members with various interests who help guide the managers,” Thurow said. “The WLCF managers were not involved with decision-making on the grants.”
Receiving grants for 2019 are the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, Invasive Species Council of BC, Horsefly and District Board of Trade, Scout Island, Big Lake Community Association, School District 27 Grade 3 to 6 for outdoor run, 150 Mile Volunteer Fire Department, 150 Mile Greenbelt, Trail and Heritage Society and the Horsefly 4H.
The grants will assist a range of projects from interpretive trail signs, educational sessions, rebuilding or repairing outdoor skating rinks, the SD 27 Earth challenge, replacing a water tender and providing fencing panels for 4H projects.
“Everything we support has to be completed by the end of 2019,” Thurow said, noting all recipients will have to do a summary report, due early December.
Additionally, $3,000 worth of bursaries will be awarded to graduating students in 2019. Five will go to students at Lake City Secondary and one to a student from either Maranatha Christian School or the Cariboo Adventist Academy.
There were 32 different project applications worth $500,000 with $141,000 in requests pitched to the WLCF program.
“It was super competitive,” Thurow said. “There were some great projects that unfortunately were not funded.”
In its guidelines for the grant application, it stipulates projects should reflect the values and goals of the community forest, benefit a broad group of a community, and focus on either recreation structures, culture and arts, or capital improvements.
Wanting to be fiscally prudent, the WLCF decided to give out a smaller amount this year so it will always have grant funds moving into the future, Thurow added.