By Skana Gee
“Like CFC, our goals focus on healthy communities and community vitality,” says Rebecca Hurwitz, Managing Director of the CBT.
The Trust was established in 2000 – after years of infamous resource management disputes – when residents of this B.C. area came together to look at ways to be more sustainable without abandoning the traditional economic activities of the region, including logging and fishing.
Home to the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Trust conducts and supports research, education and programs that advance conservation, build our understanding of natural processes in the marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and promote the health of individuals and communities throughout the region.
Those efforts are made possible by a $12-million endowment, the Canada Fund, from the federal government.
Hurwitz, who joined the Trust in 2005 after working with members on a university-based research project, says representatives who attended CFC’s national conference in Saskatoon in 2006 were sold on the idea of joining the movement.
“I’ve always been so impressed by the level of work that we see CFC delivering,” she says, noting the CBT operates like much any other community foundation, with an annual call for proposals, a scholarship program, and five advisory committees.
“We are ready to take our investment in the region to the next level,” Hurwitz said in a recent news release.
“The eight communities of the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere are caring for one of our country’s most treasured places. We are proud to have them join our efforts to build smart and caring communities,” added Ian Bird, CFC’s President and CEO.
Hurwitz says the trust is looking forward to accessing the resources provided to Community Foundations of Canada’s 180 members, and collaborating with like-minded groups across the country. She’s also excited about participating in Vital Signs 2012, which ties in nicely with work the CBT began in 2007 around community vitality indicators.
“We haven’t done a public report at this point, so it’s great to be on this timeline,” she says.
The CBT has close links with local schools and recently developed a student curriculum on sustainability. Hurwitz – currently traveling with a high-school school group in China – hopes to eventually start a Youth in Philanthropy program with in the Trust.
Skana Gee is Communications Coordinator with Community Foundations of Canada.