PRESS RELEASE APRIL 7, 2021 – Clearwater to benefit from funding through Tourism Dependent Communities initiative
Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport- Across British Columbia, thirty-two communities with local economies that depend heavily on visitors have received a combined $19.4 million to support tourism infrastructure development.
“This direct investment in tourism-dependent communities was a call to action from the tourism sector and an integral part of our recovery plan,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “These projects will provide good-paying jobs now, create valuable assets for communities and attract more visitors in the future.” Funding is being provided through the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative. The approved projects must be completed by March 2023.
The District of Clearwater Trails Task Force Committee applied for funding under the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative and were successful in obtaining $684,000 to complete two key projects in our community.
The District of Clearwater Trails Task Force partnered with Recreation Sites and Trails BC to apply for funds to upgrade the Clearwater River Trails from Triple Decker Falls to the Dutch Lake Subdivision. The first part of the grant ($224,000) will be used for improvements to the Clearwater River trail and Triple Decker Falls including parking lots at each trail head, trail upgrades, bridge replacement, washroom facilities, bear proof garbage cans and signage. This is a collaborative effort with 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 second part of the grant ($460,000) the District of Clearwater Trails Committee will construct a multi-use paved connecting from Old North Thompson Hwy (37E) through the Dutch Lake Subdivision to the Clearwater River Trail head.
Mayor Merlin Blackwell – “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. 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.“
Heather MacLennan, Chair, District of Clearwater Trails Task Force “This grant program provided the Trails Committee an opportunity to complete another high priority trail identified within the District of Clearwater Trails Master Plan. Safe connectivity is a key goal of the Committee and this provided us an opportunity to construct a safe connecting pathway between Old North Thompson Hwy for the citizens of the Dutch Lake area and Clearwater. Another priority in the Master Plan is to link the Wells Gray Provincial Park trail head destinations immediately adjacent to the District boundary, which is important for our tourism sector, as it provides easy access for hiking. 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.”
Sandy MacKenzie, District Recreation Officer, Headwaters Recreation District: “Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC), Headwaters District, is excited to hear that the District of Clearwater was successful in their Tourism Dependant Community Fund proposal. One of the projects named in the application was upgrade work on the Clearwater River Trail. This trail has become a very popular trail with local residents and tourists alike. We all believed that making this trail safe and enjoyable for hikers would help to build our community as a popular destination for tourists. It’s close proximity to town would also bring out local residents to witness the natural beauty of the Clearwater River valley and an excellent venue for families to come and enjoy a moderate hike. RSTBC is looking forward to partnering with the District of Clearwater on this project and building a world class hiking trail.”