Space beneath bear statue gets $40,000 upgrade

Kelowna's bear has served as a climbing apparatus for its visitors who are jumping to the ground beneath and splitting it open.

Kelowna's bear statue is getting a $40

The ground beneath Kelowna’s blue bruin is getting an upgrade pegged at a cost of $40,000.

The waterfront sculpture has been a draw since it was installed in 2010, and the cement pavers beneath are bearing the brunt of  its popularity. It seems that in the years since its debut, the bear has served as a climbing apparatus for some of its visitors who are jumping to the ground beneath, explained city staff.

“We’ve had pavers break, and some are sinking… it’s been an ongoing issue for two years” said Martin Johansen, building services manager for the City of Kelowna.

Although the bear itself has proven to be very sturdy, remaining remarkably undamaged, the base wasn’t designed for the impact of, for example, a  200 pound man dropping from several feet above.

“These two-by-two foot pavers are supported on each corner and there’s an eight-inch void beneath.  So if you jump on the middle of it, it could break and crack and you could fall through,” he said.

“With the new system, we will fill that in with some high density insulation, add some landscape fabric and sand and imbed the pavers in the sand.”

The cost for the project, which includes an upgrade to lighting that has also been compromised by visitors with a destructive bent,  is somewhere in the area of $40,000.

As for dealing with bear abusers, there’s not much more the city can do than it is already doing..

“We have signage and we have security, but we can’t monitor it 24 hours a day,” said Johansen. “There will always be people who take advantage and try to get a photo taken where they shouldn’t be.”

The project should be completed in the next couple of weeks.


Just Posted

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Kelowna teen allegedly robbed while walking at night

Community asked for tips to help reunite teen with ring

Nasty note on windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Remembering road crash victims in Kelowna

World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims takes place Sunday in Kelowna

Flag person struck by car

RCMP investigating incident involving female traffic control person and senior driver

Rockets calm Hurricanes for 7th straight win at home

Dillon Dube scored twice Friday to lead Rockets to WHL victory over Lethbridge

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Guns and drugs seized in Kamloops RCMP blitz

Kamloops Mounties and the gang unit seize drugs and make arrests in two-day blitz

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Interior Health expands meningococcal precautions in South Okanagan

Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls included in the expanded precautionary immunization measure

Homeless count returns amid Penticton’s housing crisis

Volunteers are hitting the streets this week to find solid data on Penticton’s homeless population

Missing woman smart, courageous, lovable

Mother says Caitlin Potts trying to overcome foster care experience

Most Read