April was a very successful month for Kus-kus-sum. As detailed in the Comox Valley Record story on this page, Project Watershed received $1 million from the Provincial Government on April 26th, 2019. Project Watershed Senior Project Lead Tim Ennis, and Board Members Bill Heidrick and Don Castleden, have been working with Ronna-Rae Leonard, the K’ómoks First Nation and City of Courtenay Councilors and Staff to make this happen ever since the Kus-kus-sum initiative was announced. “It is has been a long uphill battle,” said Vice Chair Bill Heidrick. “We have persevered and our efforts are paying off big time”.

In addition to the million dollars, Project Watershed received $710 from the Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer on April 23rd and $1,300 from the Lift Spring Social event. Project Watershed also received a cheque from Blue Spruce Ice Cream for $400 from sales of their signature ice cream and $100 from Ashley Sykes from downloads of her song Dorothy. The monies raised locally will be matched by the Estuary Angel, creating over $5,000 for the purchase and restoration of Kus-kus-sum. You may think that these funds pale in comparison to the million dollars from the Provincial Government. However, they are largely what made the million dollars possibile. The overwhelming amount of public support and participation in this project speaks volumes to large funders and government agencies. Every dollar raised locally counts as it leverages other funds and signifies how important this project is to our community.

To date we have raised just over $2 million of the $6.5 million needed to purchase AND restore Kus-kus-sum. Our community fundraising will continue as we are still looking to raise $140,000 to meet our $500,000 target. Our next $100,000 deadline is June 30th, 2019 – we have another $40,000 to raise before then.

In the bigger picture, our sights are now set on applying for funds from the Federal Government from sources such as Canada’s Nature Fund. It is our hope that the Federal Government will match the Provincial Government by contributing $1 million or more. This would allow us to enter the restoration phase of the project and get us over half way to our end goals.