Crofton Seawalk ready for the last step

A $250,000 grant is the last piece of funding needed to complete the final phase of the Crofton Seawalk. -
A $250,000 grant is the last piece of funding needed to complete the final phase of the Crofton Seawalk.
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Taxpayers have funded the final step in Crofton’s seawalk project with Monday’s $250,000 federal grant.

That dough, from the Western Economic Diversification’s West Coast Community Adjustment Program, arrived with $210,000 for Cowichan Bay’s Estuary Interpretive Nature Centre, said staff at Community Futures Cowichan.

The phased seawalk is part of the Osborne Bay Sea-Trail Network spanning Crofton, Maple Mountain and Maple Bay Marina.

The Crofton Seawalk includes a B.C. Marine Trail Network access point to hiking trails.

The seawalk, plus phase one of Cow Bay’s estuary nature centre, are slated for April completion.

North Cowichan Councillor George Seymour, liaison to the Crofton Community Centre Society, was stoked about the federal funds anchoring the seawalk’s completion for hikers, campers and kayakers.

“I strongly believe this contribution elevates Crofton as a tourist centre, and it’ll be starting point for people once they learn about this walk’s links to the marine trail,” he said.

“It’s a dream that’s been a long time coming — we started working on this project in the late ‘90s, and the core of that committee is still there.”

Patience was key, said the veteran politician and statesman who’s not seeking re-election in November’s civic election.

“We’ve had to wait almost a decade to get this third phase in place.

“The critical feature was to demonstrate to WestCCAP that this would be an economic driver of tourist activity.”

Seymour applauded Cathy Robertson of Community Futures for helping land the federal grant.

He also cheered municipal administrator Dave Devana’s five-year fiscal plan.

“The main feature established a capital reserve identifying $500,000 for 2012 for the seawalk,” Seymour said.

“It’s gratifying to present the community association the commitment to begin phase three.”

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