While sitting on the deck at the Penticton Golf Course last week with Campbell Watt enjoying the lovely scenery and sounds of birds, I noticed that there was an area on the course that was momentarily not occupied by any golfers.
I recalled the annoying statement made by one of the Trio developers, referring to the area of Skaha Park that they wanted to lease from the city, as being “unused” (inferring useless space).
Because a part of the golf course was not occupied at that moment, would we be correct in saying that it was “unused” or “useless” space?
Skaha Park, as we know it, has no unused or useless space.
It is the perfect place for parents to be with their children, where they have easy access to park their cars, to go from the playground over to cool off at the splash pad. It is where children can safely watch and chase the ducks across the lawns. Do not deny children this so-called “unused” area and experience, next to their playground. It’s a wonderful place for a picnic, to be refreshed in summer on cool, green grass and under the welcome shade of lovely mature trees. It is a needed relief from a hot day at the beach, as people walk back to their cars, lugging kids and stuff.
It is a place to meet, to rest, to plan, to contemplate and to pray — amidst sheltering trees, many of them planted in memory of loved ones.
It is part of the whole package experience for those who enjoy a good bike ride or walk, from one end of the park to the other. It is a space where people now enjoy the breath-taking scenery of lake and mountains and sky, and should not be obscured by any two-storey boathouse that would be built just west of the washroom/concession.
The park is also a valuable riparian area, a sanctuary for birds and little beasts, like the Painted Turtle, that are important to our eco-system, and should not be destroyed. Is it only the First Nations people who value and protect these areas as they do in the grove beside Doc’s Golf Course?
Thank you, city fathers and park planners of yesterday, you were wise in planning Skaha Park — just as it is. City fathers and planners of today, be wise and leave it just as it is. We do not need or want any changes to it — it is very useful, just as it is.