Dear Answer Man,
Last evening my dog and I enjoyed a walk along the Tranquille River. About two-thirds down the path there is what looks to be an old abandoned park.
Brick building (bathrooms), picnic shelter and remnants of a concrete sidewalk are there. With no signage to be found, we were wondering what this place once was. Thanks for your help!
CLAUDINE SLEIK & LIZZY, canine sidekick.
Dear Claudine and Lizzy,
That’s no abandoned old park.
What you came across is Pine Park, and it’s still very much in use, though by the sounds of it somewhat occasionally. School kids go there to release fish fry (presumably Kokanee, as they’re the species that go up the creek and spawn in Tranquille Lake — I know this from the fact my parents owned the fishing camp there back in the ’60s, at which I spent several happy summers) as part of school programs.
Annette McLeod at Tranquille Farm Fresh kindly got me started on the right track. The park is no longer part of the Tranquille Farm property. It was owned for a time by a not-for-profit group and is now owned by the provincial parks department.
I also found a reference to it in a post that was put up on the Kamloops Parents website several years ago. At the time, it was looked after by the Pine Park Society — a group that supported people with developmental challenges — and could be rented for overnight camping.
“Not only is it a beautiful spot but there is quite a bit of history in that little creek area,” the post says. The writer was told the creek was once the water supply for the tuberculosis sanatorium and that is correct.
Gold was panned out of the creek/ river back in the 1800s.
The Kamloops Daily News also wrote about it back in 2010. Pine Park is located within the Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Area, according to the KDN article. Annette McLeod confirmed that fact.
“School groups use the area extensively during the spring when students go there to release salmon fry they rear over the winter,” wrote The Daily News.
“The walk is enjoyable any time, but especially so during spring and summer when it’s cool and green and the birds are fluttering around.”
But wait, there’s more! Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a website that explains the salmonid enhancement program for students K to 12 that includes a section on the Pine Park fry release. It includes a whole booklet about the park and how it’s used.
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