Kus-kus-sum Acquired, Next Step Restoration!
Airphoto of Kus-kus-sum and Hollyhock Flats
Project partner representatives – Chief Nicole Rempel (KFN), Mayor Bob Wells (Courtenay) and Don Castleden (CVPWS)
A recent business donor
Excavators soon to be at work at Kus-kus-sum
November Fundraising Blitz
“This is a huge achievement, I am very proud of our team and the community of people who has made this possible.” stated Pat Sloan, Chair of Project Watershed.
The Province of British Columbia stepped in and contributed $650,000 on November 27th to ensure that the funds were in place by the deadline. Project Watershed thanks MLA Ronna Rae Leonard, Premier John Hogan and everyone else who contributed to this process. Project Watershed also extends a big thank you to the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, the Blue Moon Fund, the Ngan-Page Family Fund, and all other donors. Kathy Haigh, Fundraising Director for Project Watershed, made the comment that “This pivotal moment would not have arrived without each and everyone of our supporters. We are grateful for all contributions”.
Restoration will begin in the coming months, starting with the removal of the derelict office building that remains on the Kus-kus-sum site. The plan is to have the building completely removed before the end of March. This will be followed by removing the 8.3 acres of concrete and asphalt that cover the area. “Our team is busy writing grants as the extent of the restoration that can occur this year will depend on the funding received.” said Dan Bowen, Technical Director for Project Watershed.
The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and the Pacific Salmon Foundation have already committed to funding the project, contributing $120,000 and $20,000 respectively. In total, over $2 million has been applied for from a variety of governmental and non governmental agencies. Project Watershed expects to hear back on the status of these applications in the spring.
In addition to the grant money, funds from the community continue to come in. The Fundraising Blitz held in November raised funds over and above the purchase price. These funds, and any funds that come in from this point forward, will be put towards restoration, protection, education and outreach for the Kus-kus-sum project. For those planning on donating, you can now do this by e-transfer (read more at Donating to Kus-kus-sum and Project Watershed just got Easier).
“The next few months are going to be very exciting as we get to watch all our hard work come to fruition” stated Caila Holbrook, Manager of Fundraising and Outreach, “we will be posting updates regularly to social media and our newsletter”.