Timberline Ranch in Maple Ridge is planning a major expansion of the facilities it offers.
The ranch, which is located at 22351 144th Avenue, will be adding to the existing facilities, with an expansion that includes a large Quonset building 24×36 meters, which will be used for sports courts and a climbing wall, for year-round sports activities.
There will also be a western-themed miniature golf course, to complement the western-style buildings at the site.
A new high ropes course will be added to the existing zipline, which was constructed in 2018.
The camp also proposes a covered outdoor dining area, as an extension of the existing lodge, to accommodate a large number of campers during summer meal times. It would also add a small, enclosed meeting room; a small washroom; an isolation room and sleeping quarters for a nurse.
Additional staff housing is also being proposed in three small modular homes.
Craig Douglas is the Timberline executive director and vice-president of the BC Camps Association, has said the COVID-19 pandemic left camps with frustrations, including staff shortages.
Timberline, which is a charity, has increased salaries, shortened the work week and set up several staff activities and perks in an effort to attract workers.
As about 75 per cent of the site is on farmland, Maple Ridge council forwarded the proposal to the Agricultural Land Commission for approval. There are already approvals in place for existing operations, and Timberline has used the property as a camp and retreat since 1961. There are cabins, meeting rooms, a lodge, offices, a shop, staff housing and parking. There are horses, a barn and riding arena, a seasonal petting zoo and trails for riding.
The camp serves about 10,000 children and their families each year.
If the expansion is approved by the ALC, the proposals will be back before city council. The projects would be phased over a number of years.
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