Kelowna summer play could get wild

WildPlay Element Park
WildPlay Element Park's newest franchise may be coming to Heartland Ranch near Kelowna.
— image credit: Deddeda Stemler - Contributed

Heartland Ranch may be the location of WildPlay Element Park's newest franchise.

An application has been made to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for non-farm use on the ranch in order to develop an outdoor adventure facility on a 12.7 hectare portion of the property along Highway 33 East.

Whether or not the vision will come to life is yet to be seen; however, approval of the facility got one step closer to reality on Monday night after the Regional Board supported a referral application for WildPlay.

WildPlay Element Parks currently operate in Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, West Shore Victoria, Whistler and the Yukon.

WildPlay Ltd. was established in 2006. They have indicated that the Okanagan franchise will employ two full-time and 15 to 18 seasonal staff to operate the adventure park.

The purpose of the park is to provide self-propelled physical play activities in a natural environment for individuals and families.

Some of the activities will include: Tree-to-tree courses, zip lines and pendulum swings.

Alexander Michl has been working with WildPlay, looking for appropriate locations in the Okanagan.

He was hesitant to get into details about WildPlay before the ALC makes its decision whether or not to approve the application.

He noted that WildPlay looked at various sites before deciding that Heartland Ranch was the best fit.

Bruce Smith, communications officer with the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, said that the ALC referred the application to the Regional Board for its consideration and recommendation.

"The board was interested in the application and, in light of the staff report, are recommending support because it was proposed for an area of the Heartland property that's not currently in any agricultural use," said Smith.

Heartland and WildPlay will share space for administration, guest services, storage and maintenance, eliminating the need to construct additional buildings and structures.

The ALC will meet later this month to decide whether or not to approve the application.

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