Communities on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands will soon benefit from new pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

The Active Transportation Grants program is helping rebuild British Columbia’s economy out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It supports goals set out in the province’s CleanBC plan, as well as ‘Move. Commute. Connect.’ – B.C.’s strategy for cleaner, more active transportation.

Together, they help meet climate action targets that reduce the province’s carbon footprint while improving air quality.

A total of six communities, including the Comox Valley, will be getting a part of over $2-million in grants for 2020-2021 infrastructure projects.

The Comox Valley Regional District has been approved to receive $35,000, which will go towards the new multi-use Gull Road Trail on Hornby Island.

The trail will connect with the existing roadside trail network and regional and provincial parks.

Nanaimo, North Cowichan, Oak Bay, Salt Spring Island and Victoria were approved to receive funding as well.

An additional six communities in the region will also benefit from $224,000, which will help develop active transportation network plans that may be considered for future infrastructure funding.

This includes Electoral Area B of the Comox Valley Regional District, Esquimalt, Lake Cowichan, North Cowichan, Port Hardy, and Port McNeill.

“People throughout B.C. have a real appetite for safe, alternative ways of getting around,” said Claire Trevena, North Island MLA and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “One way to restart our provincial economy is to work with municipalities and Indigenous communities to support new active transportation projects.”

Trevena says the funding will make it easier for people to connect and interact with their community, address the issues of climate change and congestion, and help with people’s physical and mental well-being.