To the editor:
Trees are a part of nature. Trees support life of all sorts, including us humans.
We share a symbiotic relationship with trees. They provide a canopy of refreshing shade in the heat. Trees selflessly offer accommodation for all kinds of critters and insects.
Trees are living organisms. A “Tree of Life” is called that for a reason.
So when did we get so superior as to think that we could control nature? How long before we realize that air is a finite resource, like everything else on this planet, and we stop mowing down forests that provide us with the very air we need to survive?
There are two trees on the chopping block at Cedar Ave Park. Citizens of Kelowna, unless we speak up these two trees will come down sometime in the next couple of weeks. You may ask, what makes these trees special? What’s the big deal? Like all trees, these ones are special, even though to many they may appear “Charlie Brown” like.
These two trees reside right on the water’s edge. They have managed to scrape out an existence in less than ideal conditions. Head on down to the lake and check out the root systems that are largely exposed. Simply magnificent!
The City of Kelowna has been chopping down trees right, left and centre lately. During my daily paddle from Cedar Avenue one recent morning, I discovered that the “roadworks” department will be starting part two of their efforts to shore up the lakeshore south of Cedar Avenue Park over the next couple of weeks.
Last year, part one saw the tearing down of old sea walls to be replaced by new sea walls fronted by rock piles.
Part two will see the same treatment to the remaining seawalls up to and including Cedar Avenue Park. Part of the construction (I prefer to call it destruction) includes the removal of the two “Charlie Brown” trees. Both parts of this destruction are part of the proposed Cedar Avenue Park that has been so controversial in Kelowna in recent years.
The city proposes a building, the neighbourhood citizens want a park.
Mayor Walter Gray, the leadership of Kelowna fell on your shoulders after the last election. We have not seen much leadership on Cedar Avenue, before or since the election.
The past council could not handle this hot potato and passed it on to the new council. We have not heard anything about Cedar Avenue since your election.
I have watched these seawalls being built in spite of no decision on Cedar Avenue. It would indicate to me that not only is Cedar Avenue in limbo, it is being transformed without public consultation.
That transformation has nothing to do with restoring natural shoreline.
Mayor Gray, Kelowna just won an award for sustainability. Creating a park at Cedar Avenue is what Kelowna has asked for. It is sustainable.
Will you save the two trees that I speak of to show that Kelowna has an interest in being a part of nature, and begin the process that will decide the fate of Cedar Avenue? Or will you choose the path of controlling nature by building this seawall and delaying the decision on Cedar Avenue further?
Leadership is a bear sometimes, and this issue is about to come out of hibernation.
Bob Purdy, Kelowna