A new playground and sports facility will be going in near the new campground (two under-construction sites pictured, foreground) and washroom/shower/concession building (background) on the Ashcroft Reserve. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

A new playground and sports facility will be going in near the new campground (two under-construction sites pictured, foreground) and washroom/shower/concession building (background) on the Ashcroft Reserve. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

AIB gets grant for new playground, sports facility, equipment

Ashcroft Band also happy that left turn lane near Tim Hortons is a priority for Ministry of Highways

The Ashcroft Indian Band is moving ahead with plans for a new playground and sports box, thanks to a recent $398,645 grant from the Province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program.

Both facilities will be installed near the site of the new campground currently being built beside the softball diamonds, and Band Administrator Jodene Blain says she’s really excited about the project.

“Playground money is hard to find, so I’m beyond thrilled about this. We’re hoping to start construction on the playground soon. It’s going to be First Nations-themed, with pieces of equipment for children up to the age of 12. It’ll be things they can climb and jump on, and we hope to be able to afford a rubber surface, which would mean no more scraped knees.”

The sports box will be a paved area with boards around it that can be used for a variety of activities, including basketball, tennis, pickleball, and ball hockey.

“It’s a multi-use facility, and we have some money for equipment, like basketballs and floor hockey sticks,” says Blain. “It will be able to serve as a whole lot of different things.”

She adds that both sites will be there for people using the ball diamonds and the campground. The Band has received funding for a second phase for the latter, which will feature at least 20 pull-through sites, each with electricity and water, and at least four tenting sites. There is no sani-dump, but a new washroom, family change room, and shower facility with concession space has been constructed nearby, for use by people attending events at the site or using the campground.

Blain says there will be trees planted at the campground, and the Band has funding for more trees along the trails that encircle the ball diamonds.

“The more trees, the better,” she says. “We’re trying to put in shade, and we’re trying to encourage people to use the trails. There are a lot of benches close together for people to rest on, and we want to start a fitness program with walking groups, as well as do some videos and show what activities you can do on trails besides walking.”

Blain also hopes to tie the trail in with trails from the Village of Ashcroft as part of the latter’s Walking Trails Master Plan. “We’re hoping to get funding to connect the walking trail to Ashcroft, to connect the communities, so we’re really crossing our fingers about that.”

Also on the wish list is an electric vehicle fast charging station to go in at the Tim Hortons parking lot, and Blain says they are pursuing funding for that project. In the meantime, she says that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) has told them that a dedicated left turn lane onto Cornwall Road from Highway 1 southbound is finally coming.

“There are huge safety concerns [at the intersection], and there have been years of negotiations with MOTI. We were prioritized, because they know about what they call the ‘Timmies factor’: people aren’t paying attention because they’re looking for the turn-off to the Timmies. It’s well known to MOTI when a Timmies goes in, but it kind of fell off the radar. Now we’re back on the top of the list. It’s not flashy, but we’re excited.”

She adds that in addition to Highway 1 being widened to accommodate the left turn lane, Cornwall Road will also be fixed: “It’s taken a beating with all the trucks turning.”

In late spring/early summer TELUS, through Mascon, will be providing internet for all the homes on the reserve. At the moment only about half get internet, and the signal is weak and unreliable, which Blain says has been difficult, especially during COVID-19 with so many people staying at home.

“We’ve worked hard on trying to do remote activities, like a cooking show and crafts and weekly Bingo, but it’s challenging for people who can’t access it. We’re excited because it opens doors for what we can offer to our members.”

The six-unit seniors’ residence which was completed last year has been used as isolation units and a hamper distribution centre during the pandemic, but Blain says that they’re hoping to start clearing it out in May and start renting the units, half of which will be furnished. “We’re going to have a video done and showcase it so people can have a sense of what it looks like.”

The units are for single people or couples aged 65 and older, and Blain says they will be available to anyone living in the area, not just Band members.

The Band will also be using grant funding from Indigenous Services Canada to start a new recycling/transfer station program on the reserve. It will be located in a trailer that can travel around the reserve and collect recycling, which will be sorted in the trailer and then taken to the transfer station.

“That will start this spring when it gets warmer. We’ve wanted to bring recycling here for so long, and I love the idea of going around and collecting it and doing the sorting for people. It will bring employment opportunities as well.”

Blain says she’s pleased about bringing different programs to the Band.

“It’s important for us to shed light on the positivity that’s going on here, continuing with all the work, and focusing on all the cool projects we have coming up. It’s been a tough year for everyone, and it’s going to be a fun spring and summer. We’ve been able to think outside the box and be creative, and it’s exciting for the community.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

AshcroftFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Quesnel resident receives a shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month. (Photo credit: Cassidy Dankochik/Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
IH says COVID-19 vaccines safe despite claims of Lytton physician

Doctor makes unsubstantiated claims about serious side effects of Moderna vaccine

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood, this includes protecting one’s home by moving equipment and other assets from these areas to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-normal spring flood season

High-streamflow advisory issued for the Cariboo Region and areas including Williams Lake, Quesnel and Prince George

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Large police presence at Kamloops mall following alleged armed robbery

Police were called to a business near the mall about 12:45 p.m.

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read