Burns Lake has been awarded a 2016 age-friendly community planning and project grant to help improve the lives of senior citizens.
The Village of Burns Lake will receive $15,000 to incorporate recommendations from its age-friendly assessment and action plan (AFFAP) into its 2016 official community plan review and update.
In 2014, village council adopted the AFFAP as a guide to make Burns Lake a more inclusive community for residents of all ages. The plan looked at a variety of topics including housing, outdoors spaces, community support and recreation opportunities. As a result of the AFFAP recommendations, the village developed the ‘active 365’ program, which includes recreation activities for seniors all year round. Since the beginning of 2015, active 365 has offered over 20 programs free of cost.
In the spring of 2015, the village was recognized for its efforts by the provincial government, receiving the status of ‘age-friendly community.’ The village has also been working on projects that will indirectly improve the lives of seniors, including the downtown revitalization project and the upgrade of Eighth Avenue/Center Street corridor.
According to Sheryl Worthing, Chief Administrative Officer for the Village of Burns Lake, the $15,000 grant will help ensure that Burns Lake is a healthy and accessible community for people of all ages.
Burns Lake is among 28 B.C. communities that have been awarded 2016 age-friendly community planning and project grants. This grant program is a partnership between the B.C. government and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). Each successful local government received up to $20,000 to help undertake a variety of activities that address the needs of older residents – from setting public policy to delivering information and services.
For the 2016 grants, communities were encouraged to consider projects that focus on accessibility, elder abuse prevention, dementia and non-medical home support. Applications were reviewed by a committee from the UBCM and the provincial government.
“Our age-friendly programs encourage older British Columbians to be active and engaged, which helps them stay healthy,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “The 2016 grant recipients have developed a variety of projects focusing on accessibility, transportation, information and outreach, all with a goal of helping seniors be mobile, physically active and socially connected.”
To date, age-friendly community planning and project grants have funded 268 projects in 142 local governments in all areas of B.C., totalling $5.25 million.