City of Kelowna to prioritize parks with $9.5 million budget

The 2019 budget focuses heavily on increasing and improving city’s green spaces, playgrounds

The City of Kelowna is prioritizing parks and public spaces in the city’s 2019 budget and for one group in Kelowna, this could be especially good news.

The city will allocate around $8 million to acquire, expand and develop new parks, while another $1.4 million will be spent on improvements to existing parks.

PLANKelowna, a small group of residents pushing for more parks and access to the shoreline, said more parks are better for the city.

“I would like to see an increase in the amount of parks in general,” said one of the group’s organizers, Al Janusas.

“Especially on the lakeshore because that would be really good for residents and tourism, and depending on who you talk to, (tourism) is one of our top industries here.”

READ MORE: 600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

City of Kelowna’s senior project manager Andrew Gibbs said some projects targeted in the budget include the installation of the turf field at Glenmore Recreation Park, restoring a section of the Paul’s Tomb Trail and replacing the 50-year-old playground equipment at Bankhead Park.

“Every year we work on a variety of projects to both improve existing parks and develop new ones,” he said.

The city will also work with the Kelowna Minor Fastball Society to replace fencing and bleachers and improve the dugouts at High Noon Park. Both parties are providing $50,000 for the improvements.

“Investments in projects such as these—particularly when they involve collaborating with a local organization or sports groups—support our effort to create an active, inclusive and vibrant city,” Gibbs said.

Kelowna boasts more than 200 parks that serve a number of purposes and activities, including cricket, bocce, BMX, basketball and outdoor table tennis.

READ MORE: Social media weighs in on Kelowna park’s Ogopogo upcoming extinction

READ MORE: Walk the Lake returns for second year in Kelowna

Janusas said although the development of new buildings and infrastructure has been prominent in this city council’s agenda, the group was pleased to see a sign installed at an “almost park” near Knox Mountain last week.

“Take a drive out and have a look and you’ll see what I mean,” he said about the “almost park” at Poplar Point Drive. “They cleaned up the site a little bit and added signage.”

“The ‘almost park’ and the path down to the lake is completely surrounded by hillside houses and local residents who don’t have waterfront access have been using that as a personal path to the lake for many years,” he explained. “It was, and remains, a rugged path.”

“We’re all in favour of that,” he said. “And, we’re in favour of building really basic parks and improving them as the budget allows.”


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Starbucks gets Kelowna councillors seal of approval

New coffee shop to open in Taco Time building

Survive an Apocalypse in Kelowna with this virtual game

Apocolypse Made Easy is an interactive online survival game

McCurdy project in Rutland gets go-ahead from Kelowna councillors

Controversial supportive housing project expected to break ground this summer

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mainly sunny

Environment Canada is calling for a chance of showers tomorrow across the Okanagan

Raptors announcer credited with calming massive crowd after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Sexting teens at risk of harms including depression, substance use: study

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Rascal Flatts extend summer tour to the South Okanagan

Rascal Flatts create a Forever Summer Playlist tour extending it into the fall

RCMP spike belts help nab alleged Okanagan car thieves

RCMP arrested two Kelowna men who attempted to evade two spike belts

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Most Read