Campers and tourists benefit from partnership between NLC, Province of BC, EnCana

DAWSON CREEK ? A cooperative effort between Northern Lights College, EnCana, and the provincial government will prove beneficial to campers and tourists in northern B.C.

The project resulted in the construction of 40 fire pits by welding students at the College. The pits will be placed at various recreation sites and trails throughout northern B.C.

Tim Bennett, Recreation Officer for the Peace/ Fort Nelson District of the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and The Arts, initiated the project last year.

?The Ministry was looking for partners to assist in maintaining campsites in this region,? Bennett said. ?I contacted EnCana to see if they could assist in supplying pipe for the fire pits. And then I contacted Northern Lights College to see if the school could help making the pits.?

And both requests were met with positive responses.

EnCana, for example, donated 80 feet of pipe, two feet for each fire pit, explained construction coordinator Sam Lovlin.

?Anytime we can help out in the community, we like to do that,? said Brian Lieverse, Community Relations Advisor for EnCana. ?When this project was initiated, the region had a very high incidence of forest fires, and these fire pits should help prevent forest fires.?

And welding students, under the guidance of welding instructors at the College, undertook the task of manufacturing the pits. It was one of the first projects on which the learners worked. The College received financial support from the Province of B.C., through the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts, to help with the program.

?This partnership has provided a great opportunity for our learners to complete a project where they could employ their welding skills, while producing something that will benefit area residents and visitors to our region,? said Michael French, chair of trades and technology at the College.

And the learners who were involved enjoyed the opportunity to have a direct application for what they were taught.

?It was really fun,? said Joe Henry. ?It gave us something a little different to do with our learning.?

About half of the fire pits were in service this summer, and Bennett said some of the fire pits would be utilized at 10 new sites being constructed as part of a capital project at Moose Lake.

As well, pits will be installed at seven sites located along the Heritage Highway, and at other locations.