RACF - Dec 25


By Donna Morken 



Rivers and Area Community Foundation (RACF) supports a great variety of projects for our area.  For our fifth anniversary celebration director Craig Allison created a pie graph which depicts the categories we have allocated grants to; these percentages directly correlate to the  applications we receive. This year we received over $96,000 worth of requests and gave out $11,020.24. According to Canada Revenue Agency regulations, community foundations can never spend the capital, they are only allowed to spend the interest they receive on that capital.


Over the next 12 months we will be highlighting a project that RACF has granted to. In this way, everyone can see where their donations are going; donations are received all year long and are tax deductible.


Environment is one category we support, such as the Wetlands Centre of Excellence. This was a project started by the Rivers Collegiate Institute Principal  Mike Klassen who has a Masters in Environmental Education.


A conversation occurred with Ducks Unlimited and the idea grew from there. There is a 40-60 acre parcel of land within the Millennium Park and it is this municipal property that holds an area that is wetlands. Healthy Rivers Area which is a part of the Riverdale District Health Auxiliary saw this as an opportunity to further physical activity with the trail already there and the possibility of enhancing it to join around the whole community. The Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District came on board because of the aspect of wetlands conservation as did the local Rivers & District Game and Fish.


The Rivers Train Station Restoration Committee came to the table with the idea of interpretive heritage signage that would tell the story of the railroad and how a reclaimed CN gravel pit would become a wetlands conservation piece. The Thomas Sill Foundation came to the project with $10,000 to get it started and the Brandon and Area Community Foundation has also provided $10,000. The local schools are very involved as the Collegiate students are not only building the docks, bridges, and boardwalk but will be providing some science education to the younger students at the Rivers Elementary School along with their teachers. The Eco-Van from Oak Hammock Marsh has been out to the school and met with the students and teachers to begin that dialogue with them on science education.


There will be an outdoor classroom built that will accommodate these science activities but will also serve as a warming station or rest area for the community to use while they are out walking or cross country skiing on the trail . This project will take 3-5 years to complete and there will be more and more groups come on board as the idea continues to move forward.