FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Peace River Hydro Partners announced Thursday that they are donating $25k to the North Peace Community Foundation to establish an endowment fund called the Building a Better Tomorrow Fund.

Communications manager for the PRHP, Jamie Bodnarchuk, says the fund will be split annually between Indigenous and non-Indigenous charities and recipients and will continue to support the community long after the Site C Dam is built.

“This will continue on as a legacy item. The fund will still be active and supporting the community,” Bodnarchuk said.

Executive director for the NPCF, Susan Adams, says this donation is the foundation’s first public agreement and will have a profound impact on the community.

“The totality of what this group has done… is very inspiring,” Adams said.

“This is going to go on $25,000 is a monster for a community foundation. These actions will have an impact on the community for a very long time,” Adams continued.

Adams says the funds will go towards bolstering community programs and initiatives.

The donation will be endowed to provide opportunities for charities and non-profit organizations throughout B.C.’s North Peace Region who are making a difference today and are committed to serving their communities in the future, NPCF said in a release.

Mayor Lori Ackerman shared her gratitude for PRHP’s donation, saying there are two ways she looks at it.

“I think Confucius said that if you think about things in a span of a year, you plant a seed. If you’re thinking a decade out, you plant a tree, and if you’re thinking of a lifetime, you actually need to change the hearts of men and women. Thank you for what you have done. This is significant. It’s a legacy that will live on in the community,” Ackerman said.

The other perspective Ackerman holds is that of a local elected official.

“The largest budget line item for the regional district in the landfill. If that thing gets filled up, we have to find another location. Who would like a landfill in their back yard?”

Bodnarchuk says all funds that PRHP donates back into the community come from Site C’s site-wide recycling program.

“One of the ways that we raise funds is by recycling pop cans, bottles, construction debris, scrap metal. That wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of each individual person,” Bodnarchuk said.

She says that since 2016, the site has recycled more than 1200 truckloads of pop cans and bottles and kept more than 7.2 million pounds of scrap metal out of the landfill.

Bodnarchuk thanked the site services team, construction teams, the warehouse team and the environment team for their efforts in facilitating, collecting, and tracking the recyclables.

Since 2016, PRHP has made over 150 donations to local initiatives, totalling over $350K. Thursday’s announcement boosts their total contributions to the community to $375,000.

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.