On Wednesday afternoon the city marked the official opening of the beautification project at the Elizabeth Lake entrance to Cranbrook. The mayor was joined by members of council and community groups, as well as the public.
Mayor Wayne Stetski said the project is a great example of what can be achieved through partnerships around a vision.
“The financial contributions from CBT and MOTI are very much appreciated, and the Ktunaxa First Nation, the Rocky Mountain Naturalists, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce provided valuable input into the information panels,” Stetski said.
The city received two grants totalling $57,000 through the Columbia Basin Trust Community Development Grant and Environmental Initiatives Grant. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure contributed $35,000 which covered a significant amount of paving.
The project cost totalled around $204,355. That figure includes grants, donations in-kind and internal city wages.
At the centre of the beautification project is the prominent and newly constructed “Welcome to Cranbrook” sculpture and sign designed and built by local artists Paul Reimer and Michael Hepher.
The artists said they were inspired by the looming view of Fisher Peak on the approach into Cranbrook from the south. They also were inspired by the people of Cranbrook and so sought out some rocks that have the abstract features of people, that can be seen with some imagination.
Mike Adams, president of the Cranbrook and District Chamber said the upgrades enhance the satellite visitor centre and he hopes it will encourage more people to stop in to the centre.
The project included driveway and parking lot repaving, new signage, an information kiosk and interpretive signs, tree planting, landscaping and new picnic tables.