Throughout the afternoon of Oct. 9, people gathered at Cottonwood Lake to celebrate the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society’s purchase of forest around the lake that had been slated for logging.
Over the past four years the society raised $400,000 to purchase the land and another $250,000 for operational costs and endowment fees during the land purchasing process.
Visitors at the celebration socialized at the lakeshore, went canoeing, visited several information booths, listened to congratulatory speeches, and visited a new information kiosk on the rail trail beside the lake.
“I’m not normally at a loss for words,” said the society’s Andrew McBurney. “But, it’s joyous, and I’m feeling satisfied and happy. The feeling of, you’ve really accomplished something in your community.”
He pointed out that the credit should be shared by about 1,000 private donors, dozens of volunteers, the Columbia Basin Trust, the Regional District of Central Kootenay which assisted with the transfer of the land, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which is the new permanent owner of the property.