Foothills park pursued by groups

GVAC asked to preserve 50 acres of private land above Foothills

Politicians are making no promises that a chunk of BX wilderness will become a new park.

Three groups have asked the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee to take steps to preserve 50 acres of private land above the Foothills subdivision.

“We can’t make it a park tomorrow,” said Mike Macnabb, GVAC chairperson.

“Much discussion has to take place first.”

It’s anticipated GVAC’s possible involvement will be discussed at its November meeting.

“It’s a long-term project and restructuring of the parks and recreation service is underway,” said Trafford Hall, Regional District of North Okanagan chairperson.

The groups pushing for a park are the Ribbons of Green Trails Society and the Foothills Community Association.

“Our vision is to retain it as a natural area,” said Wynn Polnicky, with the Foothills association.

“We’re not talking about building playgrounds and putting in picnic tables.”

The site is home to old-growth Douglas fir and a variety of plant and animal species.

“It’s potentially a tourist attraction,” said Polnicky of trails and the bluff’s views of Vernon and Okanagan Lake.

Because of several steep slopes, Polnicky believes the site is better suited for park than housing.

“There are several ravines that make it expensive to develop,” he said.