Michael Carlson

Park to bear Carlson’s name

Vernon property to be named after late environmentalist

He established the large poplar site above Vernon on Bench Row Road that produced a world record for fibre production per hectare when it was harvested.

It’s a site that now is again covered with poplars which have grown out of the harvest tree trunks.

And now, the Bench Row Road site will soon be named after the late Michael Carlson.

Vernon council unanimously agreed to name the park property after the noted Vernon environmentalist, who died of ALS in September 2017, just months after he was named the 2017 Morning Star Community Leader Award Environmental Leader of the Year.

“He had so much to do with that park being established, it was a no-brainer to name it after him,” said Coun. Bob Spiers, who made the motion at council.

The site consists of a plantation of hybrid poplar trees, along with 10 various conifer trees and nine eastern broadleaf tree species. The plantation is irrigated with secondary treated wastewater.

“When told just a few days prior to his death about the naming initiative, he felt humbled at the possibility of such an honour,” said Eric Jackson, former director of water reclamation for the City of Vernon who, along with former mayor Wayne McGrath and former councillor Klaus Tribes, nominated Carlson for the honour.

Carlson arrived in Vernon in 1983 after obtaining his doctorate degree in California. He was hired by the Ministry of Forests and spent most of his career in Vernon at the Kalamalka Research Station.

He was a strong support of the city’s spray irrigation program, and championed numerous environmental initiatives such as the Swan Lake Nature Reserve habitat enhancement project, and created and maintained the pond at the grasslands trail at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre.

Carlson’s last wish was to have the park being named after him to become an off-leash dog park, complete with a small gravel parking area inside the entrance.

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