I moved to B.C. seven years ago. I fell in love with Vernon and the area around it.
But recently, I have come to realize that Vernon is falling behind many communities.
I have visited Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, Naramata and am now venturing a different direction to places like Nakusp. I have been so impressed by the beaches and amenities, access to lakes, the addition of flowers/benches/art along walkways, cleanliness and upkeep, and just general pride in the community.
Unfortunately, Vernon falls short in all these areas.
People in Vernon have very little access to the lakefront (I have been to town meetings where they discuss solutions.)
Kal Lake has a relatively small beach which is not that welcoming because of the bird problem and just garbage in general. Same with Kin Beach — also relatively small.
There is one restaurant at each lake (the one by Lake Okanagan is open seasonally,) no walkways or other places to encourage both citizens or tourists to stay. Swan Lake is great for kayaking and dragon boating, but nothing has been done there to make it an attraction.
I like to walk around Vernon a lot and it makes me sad to see the rundown buildings, the garbage, a general feeling of a tired city. This applies both to downtown and residential areas.
Why can’t Vernon be on the same playing field as all these other communities?
What is holding it back? What if…?