Photo courtesy of Island Savings

Island Savings announced a $50,000 contribution to Saanich Neighbourhood Place today. The gift is part of First West Credit Union’s (of which Island Savings is a division) Simple Generosity Initiative.

Inspired by Canada 150 celebrations, the initiative will reinvest $150,000 in local communities.

Creating “The Little Woods”

“Saanich Neighbourhood Place provides integral support services to Island families,” said Randy Bertsch, president at Island Savings. “We are proud to make a grand contribution to the development of The Little Woods—a safe and secure natural play space that will instill a deep respect for the outdoors in young children.”

Saanich Neighbourhood Place will transform the now-overgrown woodsy area behind their Tillicum Road location (at G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre) into a natural wonderland.

They plan to remove invasive plant species, add handmade wooden play structures, and build perimeter fencing to provide a secure outdoor play area for Victoria families.

“The funding will be used to revitalize a 10,000 sq. ft. piece of property that is currently overgrown and underused,” said Collen Hobson, executive director of Saanich Neighbourhood Place. “We are looking forward to creating a low impact, natural play space for young children in our community.”

Forty-six Contestants, One Winner

Community non-profits submitted 46 projects in hopes of receiving the $50,000. A four-week public voting period then consolidated those projects into a shortlist. Bertsch, other Island Savings employees, and a constituency assistant representing MP Sheila Malcolmson assessed the 10 most voted submissions.

“It’s wonderful to see the many ways Island Savings is giving back to the communities it serves,” said Malcolmson. “This $50,000 Simple Generosity grant is a great example of how they’re investing in the well-being of communities on Vancouver Island and making a difference for grassroots organizations.”