Twenty-nine non-profit organizations in the Columbia Basin are undertaking projects to reduce their energy use, create fewer greenhouse gases and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The projects are being realized with support from Columbia Basin Trust.
“Non-profit organizations hold important roles when it comes to well-being in the region, from serving vulnerable people to acting as stewards of the natural environment,” said Ulli Mueller, Senior Manager, Columbia Basin Trust. “By making operational changes and infrastructure upgrades non-profits around the Basin will realize energy-savings for years to come while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming more resilient to climate change.”

The Trust’s Non-profit SMART (Sustainable, Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience Transition) Grants support projects that involve operational or infrastructure upgrades, such as installing solar panels or heat pumps, or adding building insulation, as well as purchasing electric vehicles and installing charging stations. The Trust is providing nearly $2 million for these projects. Learn more at

Here are a few examples:

A busy Baynes Lake hall gets modernized.
From having children gobble down pancakes at the farmers’ market, to having adults sweat it out at exercises classes, the Baynes Lake Community Hall acts as a community hub. To be more climate-friendly when it comes to heating and cooling the well-used location, plus make it more fire-resilient, the Baynes Lake Community Society is replacing the hall’s siding, windows and exterior doors.
“The hall and grounds serve as an anchor in the community, positively influencing health and social well-being,” said Treanne See, society member. “Replacing the aging building envelope will make our infrastructure more resilient, ensuring the facility is viable going forward while reducing both heating and cooling costs, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.”

Solar power to light up popular Creston assets
With two thrift stores and a food bank, the Creston Valley Gleaners Society provides essential services to the community and area. It is now adding solar panels to the building that houses its Gleaners One thrift store and the Creston Food Bank, seeking a more environmentally friendly source of energy when it comes to necessary activities like refrigerating its food and washing donated clothes.
“The Gleaners organization uses considerable electricity to be able to carry out its services,” said Lane Hutton, Vice-President, on behalf of the Gleaners Board. “The solar power system will reduce those costs and allow Gleaners to contribute even more to the needs of the community, having an impact far beyond just the organization itself. It will be an added bonus to demonstrate the use of clean energy technology and share this knowledge with other organizations who may be looking to do the same.”

Keeping precious children cozy in Revelstoke
Revelstoke’s Stepping Stones Child Care Centre prioritizes the needs and comfort of the children in its care. Located in a former elementary school, it is replacing the old heating and cooling systems with high-efficiency models, enabling it to provide a more uniform temperature year-round while creating fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
“In the past few years, there have been more extreme temperatures experienced due to changes to our weather patterns,” said Linda Chell, Executive Director of the Revelstoke Child Care Society, which operates the non-profit child care centre. “It has become a high priority to ensure consistent heating and cooling. In addition, there is an expected cost savings to the utility bills and maintenance.”
Columbia Basin Trust supports the efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic, and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit or call 1.800.505.8998.

Columbia Basin Trust