The draft management plans of four regional parks are now available for the public's review and feedback. Open houses reviewing the 10-year plans for Balfour beach

Regional parks management plans ready for public review

Balfour beach, Crescent Valley beach, Waterloo Eddy and Pass Creek parks draft plans available at open houses on June 22 and 23.

Do your regional parks matter to you? They’re your parks and it’s time for your say. That’s the message from the Regional District of Central Kootenay as four regional parks’ 10-year draft plans are ready for the public’s review and comments.

The RDCK is inviting the public to attend open houses on draft management plans for Crescent Valley Beach, Balfour Beach, Waterloo Eddy and Pass Creek. The open houses are June 22 and 23.

“These open houses are part of our public consultation process,” says Sangita Sudan, general manager of development services for the regional district. “We want users’ feedback on their vision for the future of these parks.”

The park management plans, prepared by Juliet Anderton Consulting and Ecoscape Environmental, have been drafted to define the future direction, policies, priorities and actions for implementation by the Regional District. Short and long term implementation strategies are identified to guide the operations, development and stewardship of the parks, with a 10-year focus.

Whether you can make it to the open houses or not, the plans are available online and people are encouraged to provide their feed back through the online surveys.

A conceptual design maps out changes proposed at Balfour beach park.

The Balfour beach survey delves into issues like adding a foreshore boardwalk between Meadows Street and the park, and the possibility of a stair case from Queens Road. Other potential additions could be picnic tables, a washroom, bear proof containers, signage to deter passage through protected areas, access points via Meadow Street versus Green Road and installation of a barrier to prevent motor vehicle use in the park. Balfour beach is a 3.8 hectare undeveloped waterfront park on Kootenay Lake, primarily used by local residents for day-use recreation like boating, swimming, walking and beach combing.

The cost of implementing the plan, including maintenance, is estimated at $183,000 over 10 years.

Draft plans for the Crescent Valley beach focus largely on increased parking, adding covered picnic/day use areas and washroom facilities, trail upgrades and park boundary signage.

The design concept for Crescent Valley beach park can be found in the draft management plan.

The parking lot plans are on top of the current parking improvements that parks operations supervisor Cary Gaynor said the regional district is currently working on  “to solve some of the parking issues” for this summer.

Preliminary operational and maintenance costs over 10-years are estimated at $873,450. The plan suggests budgeting $333,000 for the short‐term (years 1‐3), $114,000 for the medium term (years 4‐7) and $62,500 for the long term (years 8‐10).  Medium term priorities include development of the day use area, heritage site improvements and implementation of an interpretation signage plan.

Development of a playground and another washroom facility within the day use area is slated to occur over the long term and a two per cent contingency has also been added to cover unforeseen costs.

The draft plan suggests potential funding sources could include taxation, donations, grants (e.g. community works funding), fundraising, and in kind work. It also identifies the National Hockey League or recreational groups including rafting/outdoor adventure organizations as possible funding organizations.

To find more information on the draft management plans and the public consultation process, visit www.rdck.ca. The public can fill out the online surveys until July 10.

Pass Creek Regional Park open house

Monday, June 22, 4:30—6 p.m.

Castlegar & District Community Complex, 2101 6th Ave.

Waterloo Eddy Regional Park open house

Monday, June 22, 6—7:30 p.m.

Castlegar & District Community Complex, 2101 6th Ave.

Balfour Beach Park open house

Tuesday, June 23, 4—5:30 p.m.

Balfour Community Hall, 534 Charles Street

Crescent Valley Beach Park open house

Tuesday, June 23, 7—8:30 p.m.

Crescent Valley Hall, 1385 Hwy 6

 

 

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