Greenwood & Midway, B.C. – This spring, West Boundary Community Forest (WBCF) presented $200,000 dollars in dividends to rural communities - $100,000 to the City of Greenwood and $100,000 to the Village of Midway – both joint shareholders of the community forest. The money will provide social, economic, cultural, and environmental benefits to these local communities, as well as educational opportunities concerning forest ecology and good land management practices.
“The West Boundary Community Forest has been an excellent source of income for the City of Greenwood and local nonprofit groups such as the Greenwood Library, the Museum, Greenwood Community Association, Founders Day, and the Gold Rush Car show to name a few, as well as for bursaries to post secondary students,” said John Bolt, Mayor of Greenwood.
As he explained, the City of Greenwood has already used some of the dividends from WBCF to make remarkable changes in the community, including purchasing equipment for the city and completing ongoing repairs to aging infrastructure. “I would like to thank WBCF directors and our Community Forest Managers, Dan Macmaster and Peter Flett for their hard work and dedication to the shareholders.”
Also, in agreement with Mayor Bolt, is Doug McMynn, Mayor of Midway, and vocal supporter of the WBCF.
“These dividend cheques serve as a reminder of the importance of community forests for the management of the lands for future generations,” added McMynn. “The money allows us to continue investing in our rural communities to the benefit of all residents. We are incredibly thankful for their excellence in operations which literally pays dividends to the community.”
WBCF has a mandate to sustainably manage a defined area for the benefit of the local forest and residents, with profits going back to local communities and organizations. Ross Elliott, longtime Director of the WBCF, is pleased with the work and efforts of the shareholders, Board of Directors, and management team which have led to the success to date and allowed them to fulfill their mandate. “Each board member is proud to be part of WBCF and of what we have accomplished together” he said.
Since 2017, WBCF has provided its shareholders with a total of $3,513,000 in dividends. This total does not include the parts of their profits set aside for the purchase and development of the Outdoor Education Center (approximately $300,000) and the Silviculture contingency account (approximately $300,000). Elliott further expressed that the shareholders were “fully supportive and quite enthusiastic about both of these investments.”
In addition to the dividends to the shareholders, since 2017, the Board of Directors at WBCF has also provided grants to approximately 30 local groups in the total amount of $265,100 to date. These groups are comprised of local sports clubs, schools, societies, community organizations such as museums, libraries, and local food banks.