Letter: Parks are for people, not profit

Is it only my imagination, or has the commercialization of our public Kelowna parks grown worse this year?

To the editor:

Most of City Park and its beaches were fenced off on Wednesday, July 6, in order to prepare for the Centre of Gravity commercial music festival throughout the weekend.  According to an employee of COG, the area will remain closed on Monday, and possibly Tuesday as well, for takedown of the staging.

I find the closure of half the park and its beaches for a full week during the blazing summer disagreeable, excessive and contrary to the purpose of public parks as described by the City of Kelowna Parkland Acquisition Guidelines: “Parks give people places to play and relax, clean our air and water, help keep people healthy, provide habitat for wildlife and open up opportunities for learning and environmental stewardship.”

Will the city review policy surrounding the commercial leasing of parks to prevent future week-long shutdowns of our public spaces for private gain?  If not, why not?

Dianne Varga, Kelowna