A community event to celebrate preservation efforts at Cottonwood Lake will be held Saturday. Photo: Dave Heath

A community event to celebrate preservation efforts at Cottonwood Lake will be held Saturday. Photo: Dave Heath

Family friendly party at Cottonwood Lake on Saturday

Preservation society wants to thank the public, and will make a special announcement

Submitted by the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society

A family friendly event to be held at Cottonwood Lake on Saturday is intended to thank all the players who helped the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society in its initial efforts to save the lands surrounding the local favourite recreational area from logging.

Everyone is invited to spend the afternoon skating, warming hands by a bonfire, sipping hot chocolate (or beer), enjoying a hot dog, getting their photo taken and listening to live music. The fun starts at noon and goes until sunset.

As well, the society plans to make a special announcement at 1 p.m.

“Lots of sponsors and great musical artists and other friends have stepped up to support this event,” spokesman Andrew McBurney says. “That means anything we raise through sales will go towards the project and be included in our fundraising total.”

The musical lineup includes Brian Kalbfleisch, a surprise jazz duo, Adrian Wagner and April Levine, Gemma Luna, and “four of the guys from the Hillties” to finish it off.

McBurney asks that anyone planning to attend signal their interest on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/174287763813732/ so the society will be prepared for the numbers. The event will happen “rain, shine, blizzard or early spring thaw” so party-goers are encouraged to dress for the weather.

“This is a thank-you event. And we are sincerely grateful,” McBurney says. “We want to celebrate our community and our collective strength. Together we can do anything.”

He promises attendees will be given all the information required about Phase 2 to navigate the next steps to permanently preserve the forests above Cottonwood Lake.

“We want to thank the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the Columbia Basin Trust, and various community organizations that stepped up to help save this sensitive ecosystem,” says McBurney. “And most importantly, the hundreds of community volunteers and donors who came forward to make Phase 1 happen.”

That phase was the successful purchase of the land immediately adjacent to the lake.

The society was formed in response to the private landowner’s announced plans in late 2018 to clearcut the adjacent properties to Cottonwood Lake. The community response was enormous and swift and the society worked in partnership with the RDCK and CBT to purchase the property that immediately threatened the lake.

McBurney credits an overwhelmingly successful grassroots letter-writing campaign as well as business and individual donations for the society’s success thus far.