Nakusp report, summer 2019

Volunteer efforts and successful grant applications are enabling projects in Nakusp to go ahead

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Cedra Eichenauer and Melissa Johnson of the Nakusp and District Chamber of Commerce stand beside the decorative paddlwheel outside the chamber office

Cedra Eichenauer, manager of the Nakusp and District Chamber of Commerce, welcomes Melissa Johnson, the first of two students who will be working with her this summer. — Photo courtesy Nakusp and District Chamber of Commerce

The Nakusp and District Chamber of Commerce has a busy summer tourism season ahead. With the assistance of a couple of students, chamber manager Cedra Eichenauer will provide services for the business community and Nakusp’s visitors.

A grant of $14,745 acquired through the Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program—an initiative of Columbia Basin Trust—will allow the chamber to complete several small projects for the benefit of visitors. Those projects include:

  • Replacing the aging picnic tables at the visitor centre, placing at least one on a solid, wheelchair-accessible surface rather than gravel
  • Repairing the woodwork and paint on the visitor centre itself
  • Having a full restoration of the paddlewheel done by a local woodworker
  • Replacing signage that blew over in 2017
  • Collaborating with the Nakusp and Area Community Trails Society to replace its trail maps.

“We also need to replace the chamber’s website,” Eichenauer said, “because it’s five years old and the code that it’s written in is obsolete.”

Becoming more inclusive

Phase 1 of the revitalization of downtown Nakusp included improvements to the sidewalks and crosswalks. The improved surface has eliminated tripping hazards, is wheelchair-friendly and allows efficient snow removal.

“We have the Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association working on adaptive mountain biking trails on Mount Abriel north of town,” Eichenauer said, “and it’s holding adaptive sport camps. The government is working on making the whole province a fully accessible jurisdiction. More technology is always being developed to help those with mobility issues to be independent and involved.”

Stepping up the offer

The Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation and the Province of B.C. wish to ensure that everyone in the province has access to high-speed Internet. Recent funding grants from those agencies are enabling that wish to become a reality in Nakusp.

“This is a really exciting development,” said Eichenauer. “It could be a game changer for existing businesses and for attracting lifestyle folks who work online.”

Nakusp has also received a B.C. Rural Dividend Fund grant of $66,400 to develop an investment lands inventory, a community investment readiness assessment and a marketing strategy. With those in place, along with high-speed Internet availability, Nakusp will be able to present itself as a community with much to offer beyond its village lifestyle and the beauty of its surroundings. 

Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

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