I recently attended a council meeting during which the Wiltse Highlands residential expansion was discussed. This led me to think about convenient access to front-country trail networks.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank both private land owners and lease-holders; the Wiltse and Sather families, who have historically allowed non-motorized recreational access to their land. I ask that future developers and city engineers keep Crown land access issues forefront of mind when considering future parcels allotments.
The shape of our valley dictates that non-motorized, public land access requires pedestrian corridors between the City of Penticton and the Crown lands beyond. This often involves city, RDOS and private property, alone or in tandem. The Pierre Drive development in Summerland is an excellent example of residential expansion working in harmony with land access.
It’s my hope that all parties remember the value of providing public, non-motorized recreational access to terrain surrounding the city far into the future. This concept needs to be considered with the issuance of every development certificate, for not only is it the right thing to do for valley residents, but it’s been shown that convenient access to recreational trail amenities is a strong selling point with new home buyers.
Couple this with the obvious social, physical and mental benefits of a population that recreates on the land and you have a win-win situation.
Andrew Drouin, trails co-ordinator
Penticton & Area Cycling Association