RICHMOND, B.C. — The careful restoration of a century-old cottage has netted Richmond, B.C. an award from the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA).
The Edwardian Cottage at Terra Nova Rural Park was recognized by the BCRPA’s provincial Facility Excellence Award for projects with a capital cost of less than $1 million.
According to BCRPA, the annual award recognizes outstanding facility design that reflects community culture and spaces that are accessible, engage community members in design consultation, and ultimately improve the well-being of the community.
“The outstanding work at the Edwardian Cottage is just one example of our commitment to creating one community together to celebrate Richmond’s unique and diverse heritage,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release. “The building is a heritage asset not only for the City of Richmond, but for the entire country. It reflects the industry and socio-economic realities of the early 20th century which are significant not just to Richmond, but to all Canadians.”
The heritage cottage on Richmond’s Terra Nova riverfront was originally built around 1920. At the time it was constructed to be a residence supporting the BC Packers cannery. The single storey wood-frame structure is historically significant as a rare surviving structure from turn of the century era.
The city spent eight months restoring and rehabbing the cottage in 2014. Only locally sourced wood was used in the restoration in order to preserve the heritage aspects of the building.
The city noted the project included a robust and comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan.
“Through that process, a vision was established for the space that identified the need for more early childhood learning opportunities, and an opportunity to connect young people to nature to develop lifelong ecological literacy and stewardship,” said officials in the release.
The restored structure is now the home of the Terra Nova Nature School which provides children with opportunities to develop ecological literacy through an outdoor, experiential-based curriculum with nature-based programs for children from 18 months to 13 years.
“The Edwardian Cottage has been a learning centre for hundreds of children and families for the past six years,” said Emily Vera of the Terra Nova Nature School.
“The historical significance of this heritage building and its surrounding parklands are the foundation of our school’s curriculum and help us to build a respectful and conscientious community that fosters physical and emotional well-being,” added Kate Dawson, also of the school.
While the award would normally be presented at the annual BCRPA Symposium, due to the COVID-19 pandemic it will instead be forwarded to the city in the coming weeks.