Council has approved grant applications for local recreational and transit improvements.
The project includes Sportsbowl upgrades, expansion of the skatepark, creation of a bike park, construction of a picnic area, walking trails and interpretive signage.
The goal is to provide residents, including those with mobility issues, the opportunity to increase their physical activity levels in a natural outdoor setting.
After 40 years, proper walkways, stairs, bleachers and fencing are needed at the Sportsbowl to make it safe for visitors.
The original skatepark was built in the 1990’s and also requires repairs and upgrades to provide more space for multiple uses.
The estimated cost of the recreation park project is $529,342, of which council is requesting the province cover 80 per cent.
The local share would be financed by the District of Hope’s general operating costs and gas tax revenue.
Council is also hoping to receive a 2012 Age-friendly Community Planning and Project grant, under the Provincial Seniors’ Housing and Support Initiative.
The lack of public transportation continues to be a problem for local residents.
Statistics Canada estimates that over 50 per cent of Hope’s population will be seniors in less than 10 years.
The grant proposal is for Community Connections: Transit for Inclusion, a one-year collaboration project between Hope Care Transit Society, Fraser Health, local businesses, and several community groups.
The local initiative aims to provide greater access to the volunteer labour base, improve retail sales, increase productivity in the workplace, and maximize attendance at community functions.
Community Connections encourages local businesses to provide specials one day a week. Care Transit will then transport registered participants to and from the stores, receiving five per cent of sales.
The non-profit organization has also committed to transporting seniors to and from family functions or special events for a fee.