In answer to M. Wylie’s letter, we have been residents along Lakeshore Road for 14 years-plus. The City of Vernon is responsible for Kin Beach frontage and Kin Park north of Lakeshore Road and west of Tronson Road.
There have been long-standing debates between the Okanagan Indian Band and the city as to who is responsible for the rest of the beach south of Kin Beach such as looking after the beach and road, dispensing tickets to law breakers, upgrading the beach area, emptying the garbage, beautifying the beach and pruning trees, etc.
We, the residents, have fought long and hard to get the cement barriers. We wrote letters, attended meetings and made many phone calls. Therefore, the cement barriers have been a blessing for all of us who live along Lakeshore Road and for beach-goers too. The barriers have brought to a dead halt the cars and trucks that had persisted in using the beachfront as a race track, a boat launch and a parking lot.
During that time, many near accidents were averted with the most alarming ones involving the children who run freely along the beach. Some of us have actually stopped vehicles that were driving on the sand from hitting a child by running out and yelling at the driver who could not see behind them.
Others have tried to tell certain drivers to slow down, only to be told rude things with a certain finger.
When M. Wylie speaks of the empty lots, we agree. The city owns these and they could be developed into wonderful little parks, each with its own character.
And careful consideration could be given to the one closest to Okanagan Landing Road, and furthest from the beach, as that lot could be a much-needed dog park with free poop bags available. The owners could all meet, chat and the dogs could run freely in this empty lot without bothering those of us who choose to use the beach as a friendly safe place without having to deal with the dogs or their owners.
Not everyone is a dog lover and the ways the dogs run freely up and down the beach now is a terrible shame. We have seen owners simply ignore the fact that their beloved pet has defecated on the sand. We have seen dogs attack one another, jump on unsuspecting children or elderly people, pee on other people’s clothing or towels, shake their wet bodies close to people and sniff or try to grab someone’s food.
Yes, we know not every dog owner is irresponsible but you have to admit as with everything else, the few who do not follow the rules, or do not use their common sense, do ruin it for everyone else.
So we suggest the City of Vernon and the Okanagan Indian Band do get together for a very good cause. This cause would be to create a beautiful beach and lovely dog park. Our beach on Lakeshore Road could use refreshed or new sand, trimmed trees, broken branches could be taken away and new trees planted for the future. It wouldn’t hurt to have a couple of benches and maybe a bathroom at the south end of the beach because, believe it or not, not only do dogs pee but we have seen humans peeing on the beach as well.
If both parties are good stewards of the environment, as both maintain themselves to be, well here is a good opportunity to prove it. This does not have to be accomplished all at once but an exceptionally good start would be the dog park. From there, perhaps every year, some form of upgrading could take place. Our tourists, who are very important to our community’s economy, may as a result, pay some attention to this lovely beach location. Hence, spend more money in the area.
So for the writer who commented on the cement barriers as eyesores, I hope this sheds some light on the good those barriers have accomplished in regards to the newfound safety and the pleasure they have afforded to those who enjoy Kin Beach.
We encourage the City of Vernon and the Okanagan Indian Band to continue to spruce up the beach.
L. Edwards, M.G. Dore, S. Gray