June 25th, 2017

South Country Co-op donates $150K for new viewpoint at Police Point


By Medicine Hat News on June 16, 2017.

NEWS PHOTO EMMA BENNETT South Country Co-op employees Monica Miller, Brad Klassen, Carmen Hudson, and Amy Irmen hold a community barbecue at Poice Point Park on Thursday. Co-op announced a $150,000 donation for the interpretive centre to help with renovations.


tkalinowski@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNTimKal

What better way to celebrate a huge donation from a local company than to throw a party in their honour?

South Country Co-op announced Thursday it was donating $150,000 to Police Point Park Nature Centre and Interpretive Program to help construct a new viewpoint in the park. Dozens of community members and park supporters expressed their appreciation, fittingly, with a campfire, wiener roast and marshmallow cook-off.

Not many knew at first who the party was for; it was billed as a “Surprise Party” by Police Point Nature Centre staff, but when the scope of the donation became known a loud applause and more than a few cheers broke out in the crowd.

“I am unbelievably proud to be part of South Country Co-op,” said marketing manager Carmen Hudson. “To be able to give back to the communities where we live and work, there is nothing better.”

“We appreciate it,” said Hugh Armstrong, president of the Society of Grasslands Naturalists which oversees the Nature Centre. “It’s been something we have been looking forward to having for some time. With this donation, we can now get things underway.”

Armstrong was referring to a new viewpoint, to be constructed using the Co-op Community Spaces program grant money. Some of the money will also be used to fund future renovations to the Nature Centre itself.

“There is over 40,000 visits a year to this park. It is a unique little gem for a community this size to have something like this which is so natural, and you can come down here and experience it,” he said.

“Co-ops are built on community,” added chief park interpreter Corlaine Gardner. “With this Community Spaces program they are definitely recognizing that. They are giving significant amounts of money for rebuilding community facilities. These are big donations that help communities all around Western Canada.

“People really do value Police Point. It is a wonderful place that gives everyone who comes down here a chance to refresh themselves.”

Final word during cheque presentation ceremony went to Craig Weich, South Country board director and secretary.

“We are pleased to be a part of this, and it is exciting for everyone in the community,” he said.

South Country Co-op also announced Thursday it would be donating $25,000 to the Baden Powell Centre in Redcliff and $150,000 to the Lethbridge Interfaith Food Bank.


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