Residents want a section of Vernon’s Foothills area preserved as park. (Morning Star file photo)

Foothills park promoted

Residents urge Greater Vernon Advisory Committee to purchase land

Pressure is growing to establish a park in a Vernon neighbourhood.

Representatives from the Foothills Community Association appeared before the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee Thursday to once again lobby for 19.5 hectares of private land to be purchased for park.

“It’s decision time,” Wyn Polnicky, Foothills association member.

The association has been seeking a park since 2010, but the issue is being raised again because an adjacent piece of land recently sold to developers for $1.3 million.

It’s believed the park site could cost about $1.4 million.

“We propose a reasonably expansive natural park. It has tremendous recreational and scenic assets,” said Polnicky of the views of Vernon, Coldstream and the electoral areas.

“It’s centrally located in the midst of Greater Vernon.”

A park would protect steep slopes and allow for environmental integrity, according to ecologist Brian Arquilla.

“You have a tremendous resource there. It’s under-utilized,” he said.

Jim Garlick, GVAC director, says the recent sale of park of the property may be a catalyst for a park, such as occurred on Middleton Mountain.

“With development, open space was taken,” he said.

GVAC is also trying to determine if a Foothills park would be its jurisdiction or the responsibility of the City of Vernon.