A piece of waterfront paradise, which has spread smiles for youth and families for more than 80 years, is in the public hands.
The Regional District of North Okanagan has purchased the Camp Hurlburt property on Okanagan Lake for public parkland.
The approximately 2.5 acre property was purchased for $2.3 million from Trinity United Church.
The church ran the camp for more than 80 years but announced last year that it was selling the property.
The purchase will give the public access to more than 1,000 feet of waterfront recreation area.
With lakefront property in limited and high demand, the price was right said Juliette Cunningham, Greater Vernon Advisory Committee chairperson.
“It (appraisal) was considerably higher so I think we negotiated a good price for the public.”
She is hopeful the property will be open to the public next year, following a park planning process.
“I would like to see some public consultation,” said Cunningham, who is expected to bring the subject up at the November GVAC meeting.
Meanwhile, the church is pleased to see that the property will continue to spread smiles in the community.
“Since 1931, thousands of young people and families have been blessed by the opportunities available at this beautiful place,” said Trinity Rev. Jeff Seaton.
“The sale of this property to the regional district allows Trinity to maintain that legacy through community-based programs for children, youth and families, while ensuring the entire community can benefit from direct access to this special location.”
The money to purchase the property comes from a reserve fund which was set up several years ago specifically for land purchases such as this.
“It’s always prudent to acquire the land,” said Cunningham. “They’re not making anymore lakeshore.”