The Prospect Lake Golf Course may have shut its doors to golfers, but the 88-acre site has a new tenant that’s making nature more accessible to those who need it.
Victoria-based non-profit Power to Be announced Wednesday a new partnership with the Steele family, who own the course, to offer accessible outdoor recreation on the property, including hiking, kayaking and rock climbing. The partnership will see the course become a hub for recreational programs aimed at youth and families who are living with physical, mental, social or financial barriers.
“When we started this organization, I had the real privilege to go down to Colorado to visit an outdoor program that was very much catered to the youth and adults that we support,” said Power to Be founder and executive director Tim Cormode. “It was a real visionary time for me to think that this is what we wanted to do in Canada, and 18 years later after hard work, it’s nice to say we have a home that I really truly believe will provide accessible opportunities for the populations that we serve.”
Jasmine Parr is one of the many people who will benefit from the new partnership. While she works for Power to Be as a board administrative assistant, she has also used their programs for more than 10 years, following a car accident that left her paralyzed.
“I started with Power to Be as a participant in 2005,” she said. “I had been quite isolated before that, and it was Power to Be that gave me a new outlook.
“This is an awesome opportunity to be able to serve more participants and have a home where we can create more programs. It’s going to mean the world to people out there. We want to make it as easy as possible to get them out into nature, and this property is going to help them a lot.”
The site is already being used to consolidate the non-profit’s program gear, with future nature-based activities and nature immersion education programs being planned for the site. Under the partnership, the Steele family is leasing the land to Power to Be in an agreement that maintains their shared vision for environmental stewardship and access to nature.
“Our partnership provides the space and resources needed for Power to Be to expand their existing programs and to implement new programs for their participants, for their families and for the community,” said Steelecrest general manager Shawn Steele.