VANCOUVER, Sept. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Wood WORKS! BC Community Recognition Awards were presented to local government representatives today at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria. The awards are presented annually to communities that have been exemplary advocates for wood. This may be demonstrated through the specification of wood in a community project and/or through visionary initiatives that work toward building a community culture of wood.
The 2012 recipients are:
AVICC -- Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities: Cowichan Valley Regional District for the Kinsol Trestle, Trans Canada Trail
AKBLG -- Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments: District of Elkford for the Elkford Community Conference Centre
NCLGA -- North Central Local Government Association: Village of Telkwa for the Community Stage
SILGA -- Southern Interior Local Government Association: Town of Princeton for the Bridge of Dreams
LMLGA --Lower Mainland Local Government Association: City of Vancouver for the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre
"These communities have demonstrated leadership and vision by embracing wood in their local projects, and we congratulate them on the wood design excellence they display," stated Mary Tracey, Executive Director, Wood WORKS! BC. "They have highlighted wood products and systems in an array of project types and applications. They have showcased the strength, beauty and versatility of wood, and have demonstrated how using wood makes projects better, and our communities stronger." She continued, "Communities in B.C. are proud to use wood, as there is a strong historical context for its use. However, the overwhelming reasons are the environmental and socio-economic benefits, further advancing our wood culture, and leading us to a more sustainable way of life in the future of this province."
Ms. Tracey also noted that the province is approaching the milestone of 50 local governments adopting Wood First commitments in support of the province's Wood First Act, with 44 local governments or regional districts passing bylaws, resolutions and policies since 2009. The Wood First Act aims to increase demand for wood products by requiring provincially-funded projects to use wood as the primary building material within the B.C. Building Code. It's estimated that more than 48,000 families depend on the forest and wood products manufacturing sector for their livelihood in B.C., primarily in rural B.C., but the industry is also recognized to be a strong economic engine for urban prosperity in the province.
"By making their own commitments to use wood, these communities are playing an integral role in supporting B.C.'s forest industry, economy and the vitality of their own communities," said Hon. Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
Revelstoke is one of the 44 B.C. communities that made a commitment to wood by passing a policy in January of 2011. Two newly-constructed schools - Begbie View Elementary and Revelstoke Secondary School - are showcases for wood, as wood was optimized both structurally and architecturally. Anne Cooper is the Superintendent of Schools for School District #19. "We wanted to demonstrate to students, staff, visitors and our community the aesthetically- pleasing attributes of wood while gaining the environmental and economic benefits for Revelstoke and our region," she explained. "The wood use in our schools achieved those goals. The fir roof decking was harvested, purchased and milled by local people and the structural wood beams were sourced regionally from the Okanagan - in Penticton. We're very pleased and proud of the outcome." She continued, "While these schools were planned before the Wood First Act was passed, the Act has certainly inspired us to respond to its principles. Our new schools reflect the values of our community by making a statement about supporting local labour and materials, while saluting our province's history with wood, which has been a pillar of our economy."
"We are asking communities to continue to contact Wood WORKS! BC as they pass Wood First policies, bylaws or resolutions, or if they need support to take the final step," concluded Ms. Tracey. "We'd like to recognize them and offer our technical expertise, training and education. When embracing wood, local governments are lowering their carbon footprint and building costs, and providing warm, beautiful, human-centred environments that people love." Wood WORKS! BC is a recognized resource to help B.C. communities with the "build with wood" requirements on publicly-funded projects, and its expertise is available free-of-charge.
Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood and wood products. Through workshops, seminars and case studies, Wood WORKS! provides education, training and technical expertise to building and design professionals and local governments involved with commercial, institutional and industrial construction projects throughout B.C.. For the past 14 years, Wood WORKS! BC has facilitated practical, efficient, versatile and cost-effective building and design solutions through the use of wood -- the most sustainable, natural and renewable building material on Earth.
Notable projects with Wood WORKS! BC's involvement include the international award-winning Richmond Oval - the largest of the 2010 Winter Olympics venues. Wood WORKS! BC was also involved with the new Vancouver Convention Centre, and has also worked extensively with municipalities on projects ranging from fire halls to arenas to recreation centres.
For a complete list of local governments with Wood First commitments, please visit: www.wecbc.ca
Image with caption: "VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre, Vancouver, BC (CNW Group/Canadian Wood Council for Wood WORKS! BC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120926_C9901_PHOTO_EN_18548.jpg
Image with caption: "Elkford Community Conference Centre, Elkford, BC (CNW Group/Canadian Wood Council for Wood WORKS! BC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120926_C9901_PHOTO_EN_18543.jpg
Image with caption: "Community Stage, Telkwa, BC (CNW Group/Canadian Wood Council for Wood WORKS! BC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120926_C9901_PHOTO_EN_18544.jpg
Image with caption: "Kinsol Trestle, Trans Canada Trail, Cowichan Valley, BC (CNW Group/Canadian Wood Council for Wood WORKS! BC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120926_C9901_PHOTO_EN_18547.jpg
Image with caption: "Bridge of Dreams, Princeton, BC (CNW Group/Canadian Wood Council for Wood WORKS! BC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120926_C9901_PHOTO_EN_18546.jpg
Image with caption: "Mary Tracey, Executive Director of Wood WORKS! BC (CNW Group/Canadian Wood Council for Wood WORKS! BC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120926_C9901_PHOTO_EN_18533.jpg
SOURCE: Canadian Wood Council for Wood WORKS! BC
For further information:
Peter Moonen -- Wood WORKS! BC 1.877.929.9663 (5)