Letter: 90-year resident urges keeping lake shores for the public

Residents need to vote yes to keep our lakeshore access public forever.

Letter to the Editor

Lake Country residents need to vote yes to keep our lakeshore access public forever.

I was born in Oyama in 1924. I feel truly blessed this has been my home for 90 years.

During this time Wood and Kalamalka Lakes have provided my family and I with unlimited recreational enjoyment. The prospect of losing public access to our lakeshore to private individuals and developers is very unsettling.

If our municipality votes ‘no’ to the purchase of the railway corridor, we will lose the opportunity of a lifetime. The public access to the lakes we have always taken for granted will be gone forever.

Currently the south end of Wood Lake has limited public access. If it weren’t for the generosity and vision of the Beasley Park acquisition, there would likely be no public access to the south end beaches.

If the Rail Trail proposal fails, the entire east side of Wood Lake would be unavailable for public use and access.

A developer purchasing the isthmus on the north shore of Wood Lake would be able to capitalize on a financial opportunity like none other but for the residents of Lake Country this would be an absolute travesty.

For example, visualize the Oyama isthmus overwhelmed with condos, townhouses and private homes restricting access to beaches and a recreational area always enjoyed by the public. Other than Pelmewash Parkway with its rocky shoreline we are faced with the prospect of losing public access to our beautiful beaches forever.

We all have to ask ourselves if this is fair to our future generations?

Needless to say, the loss would be equally profound along the west side of Kalamalka Lake.

The sum of money involved to secure these lands to preserve public access may seem onerous to those not in favour now. However, when we consider the priceless value of this unique property, it truly represents an opportunity that warrants the community taking on more debt.

The return on this investment is immeasurable when we consider 9,300 residents (and growing) will walk away proud and will all benefit.

 

On the 25th of April, residents of Lake Country will have the opportunity to vote in favour of preserving public access to lands and lakes we must all continue to enjoy. We are so fortunate to live in such a wonderful and beautiful part of the world and with that in mind we need to preserve it, so I would urge everyone to vote YES.

Arnold Trewhitt, Oyama

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