To the editor:
In 1997 a local development company wanted to develop two pieces of privately owned Westbank lakeshore property. One piece was the land on which the Cove Resort is currently located and the other section the 105-year-old Gellatly Nut Farm.
I was one of the founding members of the Gellatly Nut Farm Society. We worked long and hard to raise public awareness and to persuade the various municipalities and the regional district that we should acquire the Nut Farm as a park for the benefit of the people.
Finally, in 2005, The Nut Farm was opened to the public, forever protected for future generations. Almost a decade of hard work paid off and The Nut Farm is a historically important jewel in the Okanagan. It consists of almost 10 acres of park for the whole family to enjoy all year round and 485 feet of lake frontage.
The proposed Mitchell land swap (he wants to swap a property beside Marina Park on Gellatly Road for a Beach Access Park on Whitworth Road) concerns me greatly. Marina Park already exists. It has a beach, play facilities, picnic tables, grass, shade trees and washroom facilities. It is fenced and a perfect size park for families to enjoy.
People’s obsession that “bigger is better” is blinding us to the fact that, if this land swap goes ahead, we lose an individual park that could be utilized by people of all ages. The drive, determination and volunteer manpower is there to help clean up the neglected park on Whitworth and ready it for the municipality to landscape to their chosen design.
Simple, easy access could be ready for this summer, so that swimmers, kayakers and others could enjoy peace away from the frenetic traffic near the yacht club.
Why should the public accept being corralled into one park when we own both of them?
Why should we accept being manipulated into handing over one of our parks just because a private person can afford to put forward $800,000 worth of persuasion money?
Together, we don’t have to fundraise to buy this Beach Access Park (along with a number of others on the Westside)—it is already ours!
We just need to remind our council of this fact and tell them we want to keep it.
Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org Tell them that bigger is not better, we want to keep all our individual parks.