Geopark gets funding from Regional District

Trent Ernst

The Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark got a major boost last week, when the Peace River Regional District approved $250,000 in funding for the Geopark and Museum.

Charles Helm, who sits on the committee, says this is a very positive step forward. “There are still a few budget hoops for these funds to go through but it looks very promising,” says Helm.

The funding came in three amounts. $75,000 was granted “for the purpose of the Aspiring Geopark Symposium from the Grants to Community Organizations function.” This is a one-time grant. A second one-time grant for $5,000 was passed “for the purpose of travel costs for members of the Aspiring Geopark Committee to attend a Global Geopark international event from the Grants to Community Organizations function.”

The lion’s share of the funding, though, was dollar for dollar match funding for the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation to a maximum of $170,000 “to assist with renovations to the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery from the Economic Development function.”

Helm says if this comes through, it will enable the planned museum renovations which were delayed last year when funding fell through at the last minute. “[The funding] will also enable the release of $100,000 from Northern Development Initiative Trust and $267 500 from Cultural Spaces for this purpose,” says Helm.

Some of the funds will be used to host a symposium on the proposed Geopark in July or August. While still in the planning stages, Helm says this will “focus on the scientific aspects, the human history, the geological features and the trails” found within the Geopark boundaries.

Peace River Regional Area E Director Jerrilyn Schembri said the motion was passed unanimously. “Everyone was extremely positive and supportive of the project.”