I am an 11-year-old resident of Vernon. One of my favourite spring and summer activities is to scooter at the skatepark in Polson Park.
Unfortunately, I am no longer safe to spend time there, even with parental supervision. My last three encounters there ended abruptly after being physically approached and intimidated, and verbally threatened. All three accounts were from apparent homeless individuals or groups. These seem to be the new occupants of one of our city’s nicest parks.
When I first moved here in 2010, my family spent a lot of time playing on the playground, swings and later, enjoying the new splash park. Now, there is no way my parents feel safe with me going there at all. Even though the skatepark is well visible to a busy street, all three of my sketchy encounters happened there and in broad daylight.
As I sit in my house on this beautiful spring day, I am really disappointed that I no longer can safely enjoy going to the park.
To quote my mayor, Akbul Mund, “We hope to create a legacy for Vernon as the city of choice for business and families to live and prosper in the Okanagan Valley,” I hope that I can one day have fun without being scared to hang out in public parks and playgrounds.