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Richmond heritage restoration recognized provincially

The restoration of the Edwardian Cottage in Terra Nova was recognized provincially for its design.
The Edwardian Cottage in Terra Nova has been recognized for its design work.

The restoration of the Edwardian Cottage in Terra Nova was recognized provincially for its design.

The historical building, dating back to about 1920, received the Facility Excellence Award for projects less than $1 million from BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA).

Originally built as a residence supporting the BC Packers cannery, the single storey wood-frame structure is considered historically significant as a surviving remnant of the turn of the century era when it was built.

In 2014, the Edwardian Cottage was restored by the city using locally sourced wood in order to preserve the heritage aspects of the building.

“The building is a heritage asset not only for the City of Richmond, but for the entire country,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a release. “It reflects the industry and socio-economic realities of the early 20th century which are significant not just to Richmond, but to all Canadians.”

A robust and comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan was put in place during the planning, design, implementation, and completion of the Edwardian Cottage restoration.

While the restoration plan was being developed, which included engaging stakeholders, Through that process, the need for more early childhood learning opportunities and an opportunity to connect young people to nature to develop lifelong ecological literacy and stewardship were identified. 

The Edwardian Cottage is now to the Terra Nova Nature School focused on ecological literacy through an outdoor curriculum with nature-based programs for children from 18 months to 13 years. 

The idea of the Terra Nova Nature School was developed by early childhood educators with the Thompson Community Association.

Coordinators Emily Vera and Kate Dawson played a key role in developing the curriculum and establishing the Terra Nova Nature School, according to the city.

“The Edwardian Cottage has been a learning centre for hundreds of children and families for the past six years,” said Vera.

“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 Dawson.

The BCRPA award recognizes outstanding facility design that reflects community culture and spaces that are accessible, engage community members in design and improve the well-being of the community.