Sean Weatherly photo AMNC Pres. Hank Roos (left) received a $90,000 cheque from Otter Co-op CEO Jack Nicholson for the Willband wildlife viewing platform in Abbotsford.

Otter Co-op funding for wildlife viewing platform

Co-op donates $90,000 to enhance Abbotsford’s Willband Creek Park

The Abbotsford-Mission Nature Club has received a $90,000 donation from Co-op Community Spaces, a funding program supporting recreation, environmental conservation and urban agriculture projects.

The donation will be used by the nature club to construct a new trail, boardwalk and 400-square-foot viewing platform in Willband Creek Park. This will provide visitors with mountain views and excellent bird-watching opportunities.

As part of the project, native trees and shrubs will also be planted in the area, restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat.

The wheelchair accessible platform, designed by local architect Ryan Huston of CHP Architects and engineered by Bill Louwerse of Lang Engineering, will be completed in 2017.

“This donation makes our dream a reality. I don’t know how many carwashes and bottle drives we would have needed to raise that amount of money, but it would have taken us forever. Thanks to the Federated Co-operatives’ Community Spaces Program, we can build it. We can stop dreaming about it and we can do it,” said Hank Roos, President of the Abbotsford-Mission Nature Club.

“Co-op Community Spaces is an exciting program that is making a difference across Western Canada and we’re delighted to see it come to Abbotsford,” said Jack Nicholson, CEO with Otter Co-op.

“Otter Co-op is supported and owned by members and customers throughout the lower mainland, so it’s important that we give back and make investments in our community and people, which is what Co-op Community Spaces is all about.”

Students from nearby Abbotsford Christian School who have been volunteering at Willband wetlands were also in attendance.

“The opportunities this park provide are undeniable. As an outdoor learning space with connections and applications to our curriculum, this park and this new facility will provide students authentic learning experiences that connect them to their community for years to come,” said Abbotsford Christian Middle School Principal Tym Berger.