The District of Clearwater is one of many tourism-based communities across British Columbia that will be receiving a grant for tourism infrastructure development.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport has allocated $19.4 million to support tourism in 32 communities through the tourism dependent communities initiative.
Two key projects in Clearwater will be the focus of the $684,000 grant that was applied for and successfully obtained by the DOC Trails Task Force Committee.
“This grant program provided the Trials Committee an opportunity to complete another high priority trail identified within the District of Clearwater Trails Master Plan,” said Heather MacLennan, chair of the DOC Trails Task Force. “This project as a whole provides tourists and local citizens a great way to enjoy the outdoors and to explore our community trails right here in town — not to mention, the projects will provide employment for local contractors during the downturn in our tourism sector.”
The first part of the grant will be used for improvements to the Clearwater River Trail, including a parking lot at each trailhead, trail upgrades, bridge replacement, washroom facilities, bear-proof garbages and signage, using about one-third of the funding.
The trail improvement is a collaboration between the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (Area A), Recreation Sites and Trails BC, Simpcw First Nation, Ministry of Transportation, Tourism Wells Gray and the District of Clearwater.
The remainder of the grant will be used to build a multi-use pathway connecting Old North Thompson Highway (37E) through the Dutch Lake subdivision to the Clearwater River Trailhead.
“This grant provides funding to make it safer and more accessible for tourists to enjoy some of the best local hiking Clearwater has to offer,” said Mayor Merlin Blackwell. “Our volunteer Trails Task Force is on a mission to make Clearwater a connected walkable community, this grant makes a key component of that connected trails network a reality.”
All approved projects must be completed by March 2023.