The Sechelt Downtown Business Association (SDBA) has a plan to revitalize Periwinkle Lane as part of its efforts to create a safe and welcoming downtown. That one-way vehicle thoroughfare connects Cowrie Street, at the rear of the Bank of Montreal location, to Dolphin Street, adjacent to Arrowhead Centre.
“It’s an area that lots of pedestrians are using that needs some love and attention,” said Theressa Logan, SDBA executive director. She noted that the pavement on the Lane is potholed, that there is insufficient lighting, and that the area could benefit from beautification efforts as well as a litter and debris cleanup. “We would love to see the area improved,” said Logan. “It’s a convenient pedestrian route within the downtown. The SDBA could also use it for activities, like street hockey tournaments or other events so that we don’t have to block as many main vehicle routes during celebrations that hosted in the downtown core.”
The association estimates it will need to invest about $16,000 of cash and in-kind contributions to undertake the project. These resources will be used for debris removal and to pay for the installation of lighting and landscape features like plantings, benches and murals. The Arrowhead Society and the Sunshine Coast Arts Council have agreed to partner with the SDBA, with contributions of volunteer hours for the cleanup efforts and art installations.
The SDBA is applying to the Tweed Collective for matching funding of about $8,000. That Ontario-based funding provider supports projects that encourage community connectivity through shared interests, improved accessibility, and the creation of welcoming public spaces. Association trustee Spencer Keyes was responsible for bringing that grant opportunity to the attention of the SDBA Board.
In early February emails to Sechelt Mayor Darnelda Siegers, Logan outlined the association’s concerns related to a recent increase in homelessness and crime in the downtown. She indicated that in the SDBA’s view, the situation may be resulting from a lack of community connectedness. She cited the Periwinkle Lane initiative as a way that the business community, as well as residents who live near and travel through the area, can work cooperatively to help it function better. She noted that the SDBA believes that by working with the community to create a safe, bright, and beautiful downtown, it can support a greater sense of pride and belonging in those who live, work and visit the area.
At its Feb. 19 meeting, Sechelt Council indicated that if the project proceeds, the municipality would also contribute to the project. Businesses and groups interested in being part of the project are encouraged to contact the association at email@example.com.