The Regional District of North Okanagan is replacing the deteriorating observation deck and fencing at Vernon’s Cools Pond in the BX with a new, covered deck in a different location at the pond, and new fencing. (Google photo)

The Regional District of North Okanagan is replacing the deteriorating observation deck and fencing at Vernon’s Cools Pond in the BX with a new, covered deck in a different location at the pond, and new fencing. (Google photo)

Popular Vernon pond gets new observation deck

Work will start soon on structure at Cools Pond in the BX that will include roof covering

Bird and nature enthusiasts will be able to observe activity from a new viewing deck at a popular North Okanagan site.

Work will start this week or next on a new observation deck in a different location at Cools Pond, in Vernon’s BX region.

“The new deck will be raised and will be covered,” said Mike Fox, general manager of community services for the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Residents using the park to view nature in its element will enter off L&A Road and walk 100 metres or so around a trail to the new deck.

“It will be put up about one-and-a-half metres off the ground and people will have an excellent view into the pond,” said Fox.

The old deck’s pilings and surrounding fencing were deteriorating. Plans for the new deck were slated to begin in the spring, but COVID-19 changed those plans.

Rather than rebuild the deck in its old location, near the intersection of L&A Road and Rimer Road, RDNO officials felt it would be cost-effective to build in a new spot.

“We looked at possibly raising the old deck because of high water, but there’s also a ministry of transportation road right-of-way so we felt it was easier and cost-effective to build a new one, and cover it as well,” said Fox.

The project, slated to be finished and ready for public use mid-September, is estimated at around $60,000.

The old interpretative signs at the observation will be replaced by new ones, and more signs will be added at the new site.