After the Lake Windermere District Rod & Gun Club removed a man-made barrier on Invermere’s Abel Creek in 2015, kokanee and rainbow trout were observed spawning in an area that had been devoid of fish for over 60 years The Abel Creek Culvert Rehabilitation Project was one of the 2017 projects funded by the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund.

No one appreciates the Columbia Valley’s stunning natural landscape more than those who live here. It’s for this reason local property owners voted in 2008 to establish the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF).

The first local conservation fund in Canada, the CVLCF is a dedicated fund that provides financial support to local conservation projects. Over the last 10 years, property owners from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen have collectively funded over 60 projects with $1.6 million collected through a $20 per year parcel tax. These projects have all reflected local priorities, such as protecting clean water sources, conserving natural areas for people to enjoy, restoring fish and wildlife habitat, and taking care of ecosystems and the benefits they provide.

To celebrate this precedent-setting achievement, the Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP), which works in partnership with the Regional District of East Kootenay to administer the CVLCF, is hosting a 10-year anniversary event in Invermere on Tuesday, April 10 inside the Columbia Valley Centre Lobby.

Starting at 7 pm, the public is invited to drop in and browse a number of display booths with information on past and present CVLCF-funded projects while enjoying complimentary snacks and refreshments supplied by From Scratch A Mountain Kitchen in Fairmont Hot Springs. A series of short presentations (3-5 minutes) by guest speakers will start at 7:30 pm and the event will run until 9 pm. The presentations and display booths will highlight the local conservation work by organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners, the Lake Windermere District Rod & Gun Club, the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society, Wildsight, the Lake Windermere Ambassadors and more.

Admission to the event is free. For more information, visit or contact KCP Communications Coordinator Nicole Trigg at 250-409-4433 or