Local environmental projects got a financial boost recently as the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation divvied out more than $30,000 in money.
More than $7,000 will go towards the plastic bag ban campaign organized by the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE).
AWARE’s campaign is designed to educate Whistler businesses and individuals about the benefits of a ban while giving out 3,000 reusable cloth bags. Their goal is for Whistler to be free of plastic shopping bags by June 2008.
Other projects getting money from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Environmental Fund this year are:
• Stewardship Pemberton — $474. The money will go to restoration work on Fee Creek just north of Owl Ridge in Pemberton. The creek is an excellent habitat for Coho salmon.
• Village of Pemberton — $3,700. Pemberton will buy three or more bear-proof sidewalk recycling containers in high foot traffic areas.
• Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group (WFSG) — $9,480. The WFSG is working on rehabilitating a section of Crabapple Creek in Brio, which has been impacted by gravel from snow removal.
• Whistler Naturalists — $2,470. The BioBlitz project, which took place last weekend, was a 24-hour race against the clock to count as many species as possible in a given area, including mammals, birds, plants and bugs.
• Whistler Naturalists — $1,500. The annual Fungus Among Us Mushroom Festival includes talks from experts, a field trip to local forests and a mushroom cooking demonstration.
• Whistler Off Road Cycling Association — $5,000. The ‘Hey Bud’ trail, near the base of the Excelerator Chair on Blackcomb Mountain, needs significant rehabilitation to ensure it is safe and enjoyable. The project includes an ecological analysis of the area, rebuilding of the existing trail alignment and new construction for reroutes.
• Slow Food Cycle — $500. The annual bike ride through the Pemberton Valley gives people the opportunity to connect with farmers. The money will go towards a shuttle bus for the event.
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Environmental Fund is funded in large part through staff members who sign up to donate money from their paycheques, which are then matched by the foundation.
To date, the foundation has raised more than $200,000 and sponsored 35 projects.