Breaking ground on Wednesday for a new viewing platform at Willband Creek Park are (from left) Otter Co-op CEO Jack Nicholson, Nature Club member Herman Venema, student Kari Groot and Abbotsford city councillor Dave Loewen. (Submitted photo)

$90,000 donated for viewing platform at Willband Creek Park

Sod-turning ceremony held Wednesday at Abbotsford site

The Abbotsford-Mission Nature Club (AMNC) 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 club to construct a new trail, boardwalk and 400-square-foot viewing platform in Willband Creek Park, providing 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 this year.

A sod-turning ceremony took place Wednesday at the site.

“This donation makes our dream a reality. I don’t know how many car washes and bottle drives we would have needed to raise that amount of money, but it would have taken us forever,” said Hank Roos, AMNC president.

Otter Co-Op CEO Jack Nicholson was also on hand at the ceremony.

“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,” he said.

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 Tym Berger, Abbotsford Christian Middle School principal.

Willband Creek Park is located on the Abbotsford Mission Highway at Bateman Road.