Last Friday, Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, announced federal funding of $151,000 for the Gold Country Communities Society to enhance and expand their successful GeoTourism Program that has stimulated the economies of Gold Country communities.
“The GeoTourism Program in rural South Central British Columbia is an economic driver for this region,” said MP Strahl, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of Western Economic Diversification (WD). “This funding will help create jobs and support economic growth.”
WD provided initial funding to the Gold Country Communities Society to establish their GeoTourism Program in 2008, which has had excellent results, drawing over 8,000 geocachers to the area, and providing economic stimulus to the region.
With the additional WD funding, the Society will be able to increase the scope of the program by adding more geocaching sites throughout the Gold Country region, and expand their marketing strategy to attract a wider range of enthusiasts.
“We are thrilled to have received the funding that enables us to move forward with the second phase of this GeoTourism initiative,” said Ronaye Elliott, Co-Chair of the Gold Country Communities Society. “The value of this project is huge for our community, and I hope all will enjoy the opportunities to go geocaching in Gold Country.”
Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which enthusiasts seek out treasures (or caches) planted at strategic locations using only a GPS receiver and a keen sense of adventure. Since the inception of the first geocaching site in Oregon in May 2000, the activity has grown exponentially.