Community funding creates an inclusive inviting space
The view down a grassy knoll to a sparkling Prospect Lake is enough to make the outdoor patio at the new permanent home of Power To Be a special space. With the support of the Victoria Foundation and the Community Foundations of Canada Community Fund for Canada’s 150th the patio has been transformed into a welcoming hub for gathering and launching into nature.
As part of the renovations to the 78-acre Prospect Lake site, the upgrades on the patio create a welcoming, inclusive space that will serve our community for many years to come. The improvements include new weather-proof seating, tables that are comfortable for people in wheelchairs, a large barbecue and re-worked paths that are suitable for all kinds of mobility supports.
In September 2017 we welcomed approximately 100 youth and family involved with Wilderness School to Prospect Lake for the annual year end ceremony. Wilderness School is a three-year, cohort-based program for youth in grades eight to 10 where they learn outdoor skills, resiliency and how to be their best confident selves.
The afternoon celebration of the Wilderness School journey was the perfect inaugural event for our newly revamped patio space. Youth participants and family members shared nature-based activities, a family-style meal and a send-off for the third-year cohort who had finished the program. With its adjacent green space, comfortable seats and view of the lake the patio was the ideal place for grandparents to watch their grandkids paddle a canoe out into the lake to show off some of their new skills.
During the ceremony, each member of the third-year cohort was presented a backpack containing a booklet of memories from their Wilderness School experience. The gift is intentionally symbolic. It is a physical reminder that the lessons the youth have learned, the skills and friends they have gained can be carried with them throughout their lives. Similarly, our patio hub at Prospect Lake symbolizes the accepting, warm, sturdy base from which Power To Be participants head of into nature to learn and grow.
This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Victoria Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.