Boston Bar and Hope receive recreation funding

More than $707,000 in provincial grants handed out in area over the weekend

The Fraser Valley Regional District has been awarded $336,800 from the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development to upgrade the Almer Carlson Pool in Boston Bar and construct an outdoor community pavilion.

Chilliwack MLA John Les made the funding announcement on Saturday, noting the improved facilities will serve as a focal point in the community. The project involves the replacement of the outdoor pool basin, removal and replacement of existing piping, replacement of the pool deck, construction of a 450 sq. ft. storage building and 1,500 sq. ft. covered outdoor pavilion.

“This grant provided by the provincial government will significantly impact the quality of life in our community,” said area director Lloyd Forman. “We’re really pleased the province stepped up to help what is basically a depressed area to accomplish something we couldn’t have done otherwise. There is nothing except the Fraser River in our area. So the swimming pool becomes quite vital for the kids.”

Work on the project is slated to begin later this year and will not disrupt the pool’s normal operating season.

The District of Hope is also getting $370,575 from the province for a community recreation park in the 1100 block of Seventh Ave. The project aims to provide residents of all abilities with the opportunity to increase their physical activity levels in a natural outdoor setting and encourage youth to be active.

“It’s a huge help to the community to continue our focus of developing ourselves to attract more people and provide more services,” said Mayor Susan Johnston. “I’m looking forward to getting the blueprints so we can start to see what it’s going to look like. I’m excited about the possibilities … and I would like to see something there for everyone.”

The project adds a new bike skills park to the area and improves the existing skatepark and Sports Bowl, which will receive upgrades to the stairs, walkways, seating and fencing to make it safer for event spectators. A walking trail with picnic area will also be constructed in the woods adjacent to the Sports Bowl and skatepark, and link to existing trail networks, creating a connection from Kawkawa Lake to the recreation centre.

The provincial funds are part of the community recreation program that has approved more than $70 million for projects since it was announced in 2011. An estimated 458 direct jobs have been created as a result, plus 251 indirect jobs.