Sun Rivers Resort Community – 2017 National Finalist
Sun Rivers Resort Community, located on the outskirts of Kamloops BC and within the boundaries of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation, is a master planned community which began development in 1999. Sun Rivers has its’ own Community governance structure and is recognized as a separate community within the boundaries of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation. The Community of Sun Rivers enjoys a close working relationship with the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc within a long term pre-paid head lease provided by the First Nation along with the Federal Government through ‘Her Majesty, the Queen in right of Canada’. Experts consider this lease agreement to be one of the most comprehensive and secure leases ever established in Canada.
Joining the Communities in Bloom program in 2009, Sun Rivers received 4 Blooms in its first year. In the subsequent years, the community received 5 blooms and the Provincial award for population 1-1000 in 2011. Sun Rivers received the National award for population 1001-5000 in 2014. Once again, In 2015 Sun Rivers received a Five Bloom rating, special mentions for flood control planning and Outstanding achievement in the Scotts Turf Builder Landscape Award category. In 2016 Sun Rivers Resort Community received a 5 Blooms rating and a special mention for Quality Landscapes.
The vision of Sun Rivers is centered on developing a lifestyle resort community dedicated to long-term planning based on economic, social, political and environmental imperatives. The vision of sustainable synergy between the built and natural environment makes Sun Rivers a unique community in Canada. As Canada’s first geothermal community, Sun Rivers is dedicated to policies and practises which enhance wellness and continue to inform, educate, and build healthy relationships between the natural and built landscapes.
Community engagement and communication is paramount to the community connection. Residents have easy access to up to date community information and events through a dedicated website mysunrivers.com, electronic news, broadcast phone messaging and regular neighbourhood and community meetings. Residents are consulted frequently and widely about matters that affect them and contribute to an annual survey and working committees that drive and enhance Community Governance.
The Communities in Bloom program has proven to be a valuable tool and catalyst to evaluate the current and evolving plans and to spark ideas for innovative programs and events which engage our residents in the wellness journey for themselves and the environment in which they live.
Initiatives, public forums and seminars occur annually on a variety of topics to educate residents on safety, security and environmental sustainability.
The CiB program was the catalyst for the Sun Rivers community to introduce a community garden that contains 55 plots, fruit trees, berry bushes and on-site composting. Gardeners also grow food for those less fortunate.
A memorial garden was introduced in 2014 recognizing community members past. In 2015, Sun Rivers introduced a memorial tree and bench program. In 2016 we introduced Bees Matter with the focus on saving the honey bees by planting natural wild flowers throughout Sun Rivers.
This year, 2017, we are celebrating Earth Day – April 22nd – with our focus on Children. Activities include an opportunity for the children to put together and decorate Bee Houses to be distributed throughout Sun Rivers. This is in line with our Bees Matter program we started in 2016.
In the heart of the British Columbia interior and just five minutes from downtown Kamloops, Sun Rivers is set upon the sun drenched bench lands of the South Thompson River – a spectacular place to live, work and play.