LETTERS: Letter to our Penticton visitors

We welcome GoMedia travel writers to Penticton — this letter is for you.

We welcome GoMedia  travel writers — this letter is for you.

We hope you will be able to experience our two uniquely different waterfronts during your visit here.

The Okanagan Lake waterfront is closely fringed with building development along the walkway and sandy beach with a large open park between the Lakeside Resort and public art gallery. It could be described as having a more urban atmosphere than Skaha Park.

Skaha Lake Park’s long sandy beach is bordered by deep green space with numerous majestic Ponderosa Pines and an array of established deciduous trees.

At the east end lies a riparian area that has hosted over 123 species of birds as well as the endangered painted turtle.  It offers many exercising and sports activity areas that have been thoughtfully interspersed among the refreshing trees and green lawns. It is a favourite place for walking, cycling, gathering or just pausing for reflection any time of year by locals and tourists alike, free of charge. It is truly a family park.

City council has committed a large part of the east end of Skaha Park to a private company in the form of a 30-year  lease to be developed with a waterslide, mini golf, parking lot and two storey service buildings.

We believe that Skaha Park is sought after for exactly the kind of ambience it has now and that it should be left as it is.

Thousands of park users, Penticton voters, residents and visitors agree and have signed petitions demanding a referendum and protest the council’s plan for “revitalizing” the park. Our mantra is, “Skaha Park already offers rejuvenation and vitality — we love it just as it is — in a natural state.”  We don’t want to lose this vital green and cherished park. On Sunday, Sept. 27 over 900 people gathered to form a human chain around the jeopardized area to show our love and commitment to saving Skaha Park forever. We hope you will share our story and will be able to visit this treasured oasis during your stay here. Namaste!

Hanna Hyland and Suzie Anderson

Penticton