The Village of Pemberton was presented with a Community Excellence Award in Leadership and Innovation Thursday at the 2011 Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention.
Pemberton took the small community category for its One Mile Lake Nature Centre. The award recognizes a local government that has improved or revised upon an existing program or service.
Pemberton was one of ten winners, out of 50 applicants, acknowledged for the outstanding ideas that will now serve as examples to other local governments.
"The Community Excellence Awards program recognizes ideas that rise above challenges with vision, creativity and teamwork," said Heath Slee, chair of the awards. "This year's winners represent a showcase of world-leading communities and ideas and we're very pleased to be able to recognize their accomplishments."
The UBCM convention wraps up Friday in Vancouver.
The UBCM Community Excellence Awards program provides an opportunity to showcase municipalities and regional districts that "lead the pack", take risks to innovate, establish new partnerships, question established ways of doing business and pioneer new customer service practices.
The Excellence Awards are designed to profile excellence in local government and to create successful pathways and incentives for others to follow.
The Nature Centre, located at One Mile Lake Park, is 600 square feet and features innovative technologies to make the building completely off-grid (solar power, composting toilets and rainwater catchment). As well, every effort was made to maintain the natural setting at the building site with limited vegetation removal, re-vegetation with native shrubs and integration into the existing trail system.
"We are very proud that the Nature Centre has been recognized on a provincial level", said Mayor Jordan Sturdy. "Veronica Woodruff, Stewardship Pemberton and the community volunteers have worked extremely hard to see this important community amenity to its completion. The Centre provides a unique Educational and Cultural experience that is authentically Pemberton."
The $355,000 Nature Centre project was managed by the Stewardship Pemberton Society, and was funded by the Village of Pemberton, Western Economic Diversification Fund through the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Hydro, Squamish Lillooet Regional District, Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Rick Hansen Foundation and North Shore Credit Union/ Pemberton Valley Grocery Store as well as numerous in-kind supporters.