Expanding Our Roots
Blue Lake Forest Education Center Facility Improvements Underway
Jody McInnes, Blue Lake Forest Education Society
Blue Lake Forest Education Society recently received $1.2 million from the federal government's Western Diversification through the Community Adjustment Fund. This grant has allowed the Society to undertake a major renovation and construction project at the Blue Lake Centre, an outdoor forest education facility located 26 KM west of Canal Flats, BC. Blue Lake Centre has been a popular destination for children and youth since 1977, offering experiential forest and environment education programs as well as social education and leadership skill development.
The new project will involve replacing cabins, building a new wash house and constructing a new Lodge/Training Centre, as well as renovating some of the existing facilities. It also involves extensive landscaping, adding solar power to several buildings, increasing accessibility, and improving wheelchair access throughout the entire site.
The project began January 11, 2010 and will be completed September 30, 2010, with the bulk of the work done by April 30, 2010, just in time for the many local school groups that use the Centre throughout the spring as a popular field trip destination. To date, this project has created over 20 jobs and supported more than 85 local businesses.
Renovations will give the Blue Lake Centre a much-needed update, creating training opportunities and increasing programming possibilities and greatly enhancing forest and environmental education programs for children and youth. As well, it will help the Society accommodate a wider variety of clients year round, including corporate retreats, special needs, private functions, and special interest groups. This project will generate positive social and economic benefits to local and regional communities. The improvements to the Centre will help to kick off a great season for Blue Lake and the Society is looking forward to hosting its best year yet, with school groups in May & June and Summer Camp programs running in July and August.
All of the Blue Lake Forest Education Society staff and Board members would like to thank Western Diversification for this opportunity, as well as recognize all of the local support and encouragement we’ve received for this project. Thanks to everyone- we hope to see you soon!
To learn more about camp programs, contact the Blue Lake Office at 250-426-3676.
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