An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
LOOKS VERY MUCH like McArthur Island will be getting a combined nature park and disc golf course.
That’s the strong recommendation going to Kamloops City council this week from the Parks and Recreation Department. This, despite an earlier acknowledgement by the department that the most popular response in a public consultation was “to leave the land as a natural, passive area with trails and an educational component.”
We’re talking, of course, about the former mini-golf property at the tip of the island.
It seems a strange decision. City staff looked at a number of other multi-use parks in the province that include disc golf. One of them, in Langley, is being built on a reclaimed landfill.
Another, Quilchena Park in Vancouver, is described by that City as “welcoming to sports enthusiasts” and is located near a secondary school, hbousing, a Starbucks and shopping.
It has a history of rude exchanges between disc golfers and dog walkers, though in fairness it should be noted that it’s unlikely dogs will be allowed in McArthur Island Park.
There’s nothing quite like McArthur Island, though. It’s a secluded gem away from urban activity, frequented by a variety of wildlife. Perfect for a passive nature park.
Why the Parks Department is so focused on bringing disc golf into the picture is hard to figure. The report to council notes there are three other possible locations. Why clutter up the McArthur Island property with flying frisbees?
Unfortunately, the Kamloops Naturalists Club, the key proponent of a passive nature park, is pretty much throwing in the towel. It now suggests the disc golfers should be limited to nine holes instead of 18.
That won’t solve anything. The best answer remains putting the disc golfers somewhere else.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.