Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue members recently completed their annual hover entry-exit training recertification. (Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue/Special to The News)

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue members recently completed their annual hover entry-exit training recertification. (Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue/Special to The News)

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows groups get thousands in provincial gaming grants

Money for environmental and public safety initiatives

Thousands in provincial Community Gaming Grants will be going towards four local organizations to help with their environmental and public safety initiatives.

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue will be receiving $85,700 from the province for public safety work, specifically for land search and rescue.

Search and rescue manager Rick Laing said the money will be going towards replacing gear, training for winter preparedness and rope rescue, and communications equipment.

Paws for Hope Animal Foundation received $61,000. This is in addition to a capital grant of $27,000 the group received mid-January to purchase a van to assist with animal transportation related to the non-profit’s vet assistance and foster assistance programs. The Capital Grants stream, also part of the Community Gaming Grants program, is designed to support not-for-profits and other community organizations to purchase, build, upgrade, or expand infrastructure that allows them to continue providing services or meet growing demand.

The Alouette River Management Society, (ARMS), received $54,000 and Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnerships Society, (KEEPS), received a $20,000 grant.

“ARMS was very excited and grateful to be approved for a grant of $54,450 last November. These funds are important for ARMS so that we can directly deliver a range of services to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents including environmental education, stewardship opportunities, and community workshops,” said executive director Greta Borick-Cunningham, thanking the province and the Community Gaming Branch for their support.

“That supports our school programs,” said KEEPS education coordinator Ross Davies.

And, he said, it partners with funding they’ve also received from the City of Maple Ridge.

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ALSO: Maple Ridge organizations awarded gaming grants in 2019

“It allows us to keep doing our education out in the field and around the school district,” he added.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare said she was happy to see funding go to assist the work of the local search and rescue team.

“Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue recently completed two separate rescues of hikers in Golden Ears Park on the same day! We can hardly thank them enough for all they do to respond in emergency situations,” said Beare.

The province has distributed more than $10.5 million through the Environment and Public Safety streams of the Community Gaming Grant program for the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

“Not-for-profits across the province will receive funding through this stream of community gaming grants for their commitment to the environment and wildlife,” explained Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith.

About 1,500 community not-for-profit organizations will receive a portion of the $140 million that is distributed annually though Community Gaming Grants, across all streams of the program.

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