A bite-sized look at local news and community events happening in Agassiz and Harrison. Have a mini story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (604) 796-4302.
Progress continues on Bear Mountain Trail
Trekking under the dappled light of the Coastal Forest on a mountainside trail might be one of the newest ways to get from Harrison to Agassiz (and vice versa) – and enjoy some stunning views along the way.
At a regular council meeting July 16, the Bear Mountain Trail Society (BMTS) requested a letter of support from the District of Kent (DoK) for its plan to create a trail from Agassiz to Harrison. The letter of support will aid the society in requesting provincial and federal grant money, said society member Stephen Mullock.
The trail would run through the forest, used primarily for hiking and snowshoeing. But implementing the trail comes with some complexities. The land exists on First Nations, federal and in some cases, private land.
Mullock told the Observer that for now the group’s primary focus is gathering support and consensus from local groups and communities with history in the area.
So far, BMTS has met with with DoK, Harrison and local first nations including Sts’ailes, Seabird and Cheam. The group has attended two Community 2 Community Meetings where all local governments and groups meet to discuss projects and issues.
Additional funding will be sought for the second phase of the trail’s development, Mullock told the DoK trails sub-committee on June 7. Interpretive signage along the trail “could tell the history of a First Nation, play a song, provide a lesson; possibly in other languages that have a connection with the land.” BMTS is still in the process of investigating options for funding from organizations and government.
The group’s hope is to have a starting point in the Village of Harrison at the established Spirit Trail and possibly establish the “Green Grind” as a connecting trail head.
Mullock said the trail will provide a place for people to find connection – both with other trail-users and with the wilderness.”The area lends itself to a first-class destination,” he said. “We are, strategically in good shape at the moment…with any luck we’ll be able to to start constructing the trail a year from now.”
Sidewalk replacement on Highway 9
Tired of stepping on weeds growing through the sidewalk?
Strips and sections of asphalt sidewalk along Highway 9 – running from the entrance to Agassiz, down residential areas and towards the Agassiz Legion –will soon be replaced with concrete. DoK approved funding of just over $34,000 to Contour Concrete for the project that will repair sections of the sidewalk with uneven and cracked surfaces.
The proposed schedule will see work will completed by August.
ALR accommodation use updated
Back in October 2016, the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) – the province’s THIS – approved a new type of accommodation use on Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) land, and after consulting with the Kent Agricultural Advisory Committee, DoK council showed it is on board – authorizing staff to update the applicable zoning bylaw at the July 16 meeting.
The update allows the construction of an accommodation above an existing single-level building on a farm. Previously, the ALC limited secondary homes on ALR land to secondary suites, farm employee residences or manufactured homes for immediate family members or property owners.
The new regulation allows residents who aren’t immediate family members and don’t work on the farm to reside on the second-floor of a two-storey building on a designated farm property.
A public hearing is scheduled in August to tweak the updated bylaw before it is adopted.
A playground for all
New Pioneer Park playground equipment will create an all-inclusive community play space with accessible slides, swings and play structures. It will also incorporate ‘sensory stimulation apparatuses where possible.’
The ‘natural elements and colours’ of the playground will represent Agassiz as a ‘heritage’ community.
DoK council approved the replacement of the Pioneer Park playground in its 2018 capital budget after the Parks and Recreation Committee was notified of the need to replace deteriorating wooden platforms and support beams. “…due to “stomping” on the platforms, the support beams had given way,” reads the report to council.
Playground construction will begin in 2019. Meanwhile, the grand opening of a new playground in Schep Park is set for Sept. 7, 2018.
Friends of the Library
The Agassiz Library Society or ‘Agassiz Friends of the Library’ is looking for members! The group is composed of volunteers that promote library services, literacy and use of library resources and services and provides ‘extras’ beyond the library’s budget. Agassiz Friends of the Library is behind things like free books for Storytime in the Park or the new TV in the library’s meeting room! The group encourages anyone interested in joining to inquire at the Agassiz library for contact information.