As 2019 begins, I find myself reflecting on all the hard work staff, partners and community groups put into making 2018 such an amazing year.
In 2018 we redefined what it means to be busy. We took inspiration from Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield, who visited the Basin in 2017, and told us to THINK BIG and that the only limit to our accomplishments is the expectations we set for ourselves. Last year, we delivered $57 million in funding benefits and commercial investments to Basin communities, through 1,600 projects and partnerships and 65 programs and initiatives. That’s more than any other year!
The Trust focuses on supporting regional priorities that enhance residents’ quality of life and make this region a desirable place to live. Significant investments in affordable housing, broadband, recreation infrastructure, ecosystem enhancement, childcare, and arts, culture, and heritage are only a few examples of the work we are doing to meet community needs.
This progress was made possible by hardworking organizations and community members like you. We are here to support your ideas and efforts, to help you aim higher and achieve more.
Together, I know we’ll make 2019 even better. Along with many new programming and investment announcements, residents can expect to hear more about a transboundary conference, the renewal of our Columbia Basin Management Plan, plans for the next Columbia Basin symposium and the celebration of our 25th anniversary in 2020. It will be an incredible year.
The Trust also focuses on balancing our supports to benefit all current and future residents of the region. What is critically important today may become less of a priority tomorrow. We need to continually engage with residents to ensure our programs, initiatives and investments continue to deliver the benefits residents desire.
We are entering the fourth year of our five-year Columbia Basin Management Plan. This plan sets out 13 primary strategic priorities and has shaped our new programming and initiatives since 2016. While there is still more to do, we are beginning to think about engaging Basin residents to renew the plan which expires in 2020.
What will this plan look like? What are we hoping to achieve? What can we learn from the past that will inform how we work in the future? What do we want our region to look like 5, 10, 15, even 20 years from now? These questions will form the basis of our discussions with residents in 2019/20.
On behalf of all the Trust Board and staff, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. We look forward to working together to make our Basin an even better place to live.
President and Chief Executive Officer