The Lake Windermere Ambassadors’ community-based watershed monitoring project – which is supported by the Columbia Lake Local Conservation Fund – is essential to the sustainable management of Lake Windermere’s long-term ecological health. LWA Photo

Kootenay Conservation Program, on behalf of the Regional District of East Kootenay, is now accepting proposals for the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF).

The CVLCF is a dedicated fund that each year provides financial support to local projects that help conserve and restore the valley’s world-renowned natural surroundings.

Ten years ago, Columbia Valley residents made their mark on history when they voted to create the first taxpayer-funded conservation fund in Canada. The success of the CVLCF has not only created a new model for community conservation that’s gained traction across B.C. and beyond, but locally it has resulted in more than $1.6 million in funding for over 60 projects since 2009, and has helped leverage over an additional $16 million for those projects.

The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP), which works in partnership with the Regional District of East Kootenay to administer the CVLCF, is encouraging conservation groups operating in the Columbia Valley to submit funding proposals for 2019 projects.

Community groups and associations can partner with an eligible non-profit to qualify. If you have a project idea that can benefit fish and wildlife or other conservation values in the region, please contact the KCP Program Manager.

“The Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund is an excellent resource for local organizations that have projects helping support fish and wildlife habitat, open spaces and water quality,” says Juliet Craig, Program Manager for the KCP.

In 2018, seven projects successfully received CVLCF funding: lake monitoring on Columbia Lake and Lake Windermere by the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society and the Lake Windermere Ambassadors respectively, treatment of the noxious weed Leafy Spurge by the East Kootenay Invasive Species Society, bat conservation in the Columbia Valley led by the Kootenay Community Bat Project, conservation and enhancement of critical habitat on agricultural lands through the Farmland Advantage program via the Windermere District Farmers’ Institute, and the ongoing re-introduction of the endangered northern leopard frog to the Brisco wetlands by the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners.

The deadline for applications is November 1st, 2018. In November, a Technical Review Committee will review project proposals and make recommendations to the RDEK for final funding approval.

For more information and how to apply, please visit For phone or email inquiries, please contact KCP Program Manager Juliet Craig at 250-352-2260 or