A program that has introduced hundreds of Squamish residents to the community’s outdoor activities is facing the axe.
The Sea to Sky Community Services Society’s Fresh Families has funding until December, facilitator Julia Bresalier said. After then it’s all up in the air as to what will become of the initiative that builds networks between families and introduces people to local activities.
“Hopefully we will secure funding past September,” Bresalier said. “We really need core funding.”
Throughout the summer, every Tuesday the drop-in program offered free workshops for families on everything from kayaking to bouldering to dragon boat racing. Although Squamish is famous for its huge variety of outdoor recreation, not all are accessible to families, Bresalier said.
The program goes beyond introducing people to sports. It helps residents build supportive networks throughout the community, Bresalier said. Participants include everyone from new parents to new Canadians to long-time Squamoleans who were intimidated to try their hand at some of the sports.
“It just makes me realize there were people who are curious and interested and don’t have any easy entry point,” she said, noting that 120 people came out for the last paddleboarding excursion at Alice Lake.
The program brings awareness to the various outdoor recreation companies in town, many of which donated their time to the initiative, Bresalier said. In turn, that helps support Squamish’s economy.
“It has become this really multi-beneficial entity,” she said of the program.
Fresh Families has a Facebook page. It will continue with indoor activities into the winter months. For more information visit www.sscs.ca, or visit it on Facebook.