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Elizabeth Lake beautification project finishes with ceremony

(Left to right) - Councillor Gerry Warner; Councillor Bob Whetham; Councillor Sharon Cross; Mayor Wayne Stetski; Mike Adams, President Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer Krotz, Community Liaison - South Central Basin, Columbia Basin Trust; Paul Reimer and Michael Hepher, Sign Artists; Jack Bennetto, Highways Manager, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI). - Photo submitted
(Left to right) - Councillor Gerry Warner; Councillor Bob Whetham; Councillor Sharon Cross; Mayor Wayne Stetski; Mike Adams, President Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer Krotz, Community Liaison - South Central Basin, Columbia Basin Trust; Paul Reimer and Michael Hepher, Sign Artists; Jack Bennetto, Highways Manager, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI).
— image credit: Photo submitted

 

Residents and visitors using the west Highway 3 entrance to the City of Cranbrook can now enjoy a newly updated place to stop, stretch, get information about the City and region and enjoy the natural beauty of Elizabeth Lake.

The City’s Elizabeth Lake Beautification project officially opened this afternoon with an official ribbon cutting.

The City was successful in receiving two grants totaling $57,000 through the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) Community Development Grant and Environmental Initiatives Grant. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) also contributed $35,000 toward the project which covered a significant amount of

the paving work. The project cost, as of August 27, 2013 is $204,355 which includes all grants, donations inkind and internal City wages.

“This project is a great example of what can be achieved through partnerships around a vision,” said Mayor Wayne Stetski. “The financial contributions from CBT and MOTI are very much appreciated, and the Ktunaxa First Nation, the Rocky Mountain Naturalists, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce provided valuable input into the information panels.”

“The upgrades to the entrance of Elizabeth Lake will enhance the satellite Visitor Centre and hopefully encourage more visitors to stop in,” said Mike Adams, President of the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce. “Any time our visitor counsellors can tell the story of Cranbrook to visitors, there is an opportunity to have those visitors stay a little longer and explore the community further – and that is a good thing.”

The most visually prominent component of the Elizabeth Lake project is the new ‘Welcome to Cranbrook’ sculpture and sign designed and built by local artists Paul Reimer and Michael Hepher.

“Public art is one of the most efficient ways to help a community grow its identity,” says Michael Hepher and Paul Reimer. “When we were first presented with the opportunity to work on this project, we were immediately excited by the fact that we could continue to contribute to the beautifying of our region. While the sign itself serves a functional purpose, our goal was to use materials that reflected characteristics of the region: stable, natural & significant. The implied forms are designed to remind newcomers and locals alike that this is a strong community, with a rich history, held together by great people.”

“I also very much appreciate the creativity so clearly demonstrated by both Paul and Michael in designing and constructing the sign sculpture and the hard work by our City Engineering and Public Works staff,” Mayor Stetski added.

Driveway and parking lot repaving, new signage, an information kiosk and interpretive signs, tree planting, landscaping, picnic table installation and installation of lighting were also part of the project. Some minor touch ups like line painting and additional landscaping work will occur in the spring, along with the installation of an Electrical Vehicle Charging Station.

“Together we have created a new, very welcoming area, for both the citizens of Cranbrook and for visitors to our great community,” said Mayor Stetski.

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