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Communities

Unincorporated Communities

Electoral Areas D and E

The South Peace Region is made up of many small communities that are not incorporated.  They are managed and serviced by the Peace River Regional District. Take a look at the amenities found in these areas.

Today

There are approximately 29 of these communities in the South Peace.  Some are located on major highways like Groundbirch, Arras, Tupper and Rolla.  Others are located in isolated regions such as Lone Prairie and Upper Cutbank.  These small communities are made up of members who share common practices such as agricultural, farming or even religion in some cases.  These communities are rich with history and made up of friendly, caring and diverse people.  Many of the oil and gas companies do business out in these communities as this is predominantly where the oil and gas reserves are found.

The unincorporated communities are as follows:

Arras (Area D)

  • Located West of Dawson Creek, along Highway 97 and the Old Hart Highway
  • Farming area used for forage and grain farming.
  • Devereaux Elementary School is found here

Bessborough/Willowbrook (Area D)

  • Located northwest of Dawson Creek, lying on the east side of the Kiskatinaw River along 212 Rd. which runs off of Highway 97.
  • Farming area used for forage and cattle and sheep operations, grain farming is becoming more prevalent.
  • The entire area is located in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
  • The population is around 250 people.

Doe River (Area D)

  • Found on Rolla road, 36 km north of Dawson Creek.
  • It is an agricultural community focused on mostly grain forage and cattle production.
  • There are around 100 people who live here who operate a post office and a rodeo arena.

East Pine (Area E)

  • Located at the confluence of the East Pine River and the Murray River, approximately 27 km east of Chetwynd.
  • There is a subdivision on the western hills on the upper and lower flood plains.  The plains above the hills are used for agriculture and are part of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Farmington/Parkland (Area D)

  • Located 37 km north of Dawson Creek on and near the Alaska Highway.
  • Much of the land is used for agricultural operations like cereal and forage crops, and cattle, sheep and swine production.
  • Area has a general store with a post office, a community hall, a golf course and an elementary school.
  • There are around 200 people in this community.

Fellers Heights (Area D)

  • This area starts about 9 km past Arras on Highway 97.
  • Named after the Fellers family who came to the area in the 1920’s, the land is made up of mostly forested hills and large family agricultural operations.
  • There is a transfer station for garbage and a solid waste site.

Groundbirch (Area E)

  • Located 55 km west of Dawson Creek, the centre of this community is found on the junction of highway 97 and road 271.  It is an agricultural community focusing on forage and cattle grazing.
  • McLeod School offers educational service as well as a community hall.

Hasler (Area E)

  • Located on the Pine River flats, approximately 25 km west of Chetwynd.  Highway 97 is located to the north.
  • Some of the flats are cleared for agricultural development and is designated to be in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Kelly Lake (Area D)

  • This small, isolated community is found about 80 km south of Dawson Creek and 50 km east of Tumbler Ridge.  It is accessible via Highway 52 east.
  • The community was created as Cree-speaking Métis families migrated west from areas in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec.
  • There is little agriculture in the area but due to its isolation hunting and trapping is common.
  • The community consists of 50 people and has a solid waste transfer site, lagoon, church, community centre, and a community hall.

Kilkerran (Area D)

  • This location is found in the Agricultural Land Reserve several miles north of Dawson Creek.  It was settled in 1912 and was originally called Saskatoon Creek.
  • There is a community hall located here.

Lone Prairie (Area E)

  • This area is a valley west of Dawson Creek and south of highway 97, situated between Mt. Wartenbe and Tuskoola Mountain.
  • The valley used flat and is cleared and cultivated for crops, cattle, grazing and ranching.
  • There are around 200 people in the area.

Progress (Area E)

  • Progress is a residential community located at the junction of Rd. 255 and highway 97, about 37 km west of Dawson Creek.
  • Made up of quarter-section parcels of land used for forage and cattle production.
  • Except for residential lots, the area is within the Agricultural Land Reserve.
  • A small recreational field, church, public works yard, and solid waste transfer bins are found in the community.

Rolla (Area D)

  • First settled in the 1910’s, Rolla is one of the oldest communities in the Peace region.
  • The town site is located 24 km north of Dawson Creek and is also found in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
  • It is made up of large grain producing farms.
  • There is a pub, agricultural fertilizer service centre, a solid waste transfer station, a community sewage system and other amenities found in a small village.
  • There are around 150 people who live in Rolla.

Shearerdale (Area D)

  • Located 6 km north of Doe River and 42 km north of Dawson Creek.
  • The surrounding land is farmed for grain forage and cattle.
  • There are roughly 40 people who live in this area.

Sunrise Valley (Area D)

  • Sunrise Valley is located 38 km northwest of Dawson Creek, near the end of 216 road and northwest of highway 97.
  • This is a farming community comprised of large agricultural holdings inside the Agricultural Land Reserve.  Operations consist of cereal and forage crops and cattle, sheep and swine farms.
  • There is an unused community hall that still exists in the area.
  • The population in this area is approximately 100 people.

Sunset Prairie (Area E)

  • Located approximately 55 km west of Dawson Creek and north of highway 97.
  • Area is characterized by hills and the Kiskatinaw River to the east.
  • Land is used for forage and cattle operations.
  • There is a church and fairground found in the area.

Tomslake (Area D)

  • Located 40 km south of Dawson Creek on highway 2
  • The area was settled by Sudeten Germans who were brought in by the Canadian Pacific Railway Colonization Board to grow wheat. 
  • The land is used for forage crops and large family agricultural operations.

Opportunities

There are very few amenities in these communities (listed above) however they offer great farming and agricultural land, privacy, and large parcels of property.

Future

As long as there is farming and agricultural practices going on in the South Peace Region, there will be a future for these unincorporated communities.  With more oil and gas exploration, the building of pipelines and other ventures in the natural resource sector, the well-being of these communities is up for debate.  These communities are an integral, valued part of the South Peace and will be for years to come.

Links & Resources

Investment Ready - PRRD Official Community Plan (link opens in new window)

Peace River Regional District (link opens in new window)

Regional District Community Fact Sheet (PDF Document)

PRRD Socio-Economic Profile (PDF Document)

Contacts

Fred Banham
Chief Administrative Officer
Peace River Regional District
Ph: 250.784.3208
Fred.Banham@prrd.bc.ca