A North Okanagan group does not want to see paradise paved to put up a parking lot.
A group of residents calling themselves Friends of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park have launched an online petition to bring attention to a BC Parks plan to build a large parking lot in the middle of the grassland on Cosens Bay Valley’s top bench for traffic overflow in the park.
“This will destroy the integrity of the only preserved grassland valley of its kind,” says the petition. “No longer will you be able to imagine a time before contact. And as you enter Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, cars and trucks in a dusty parking lot will loom above you on the skyline curve of the glacier-carved valley.”
Cosens Bay Valley, says the group, is “a place where you can stand and imagine the Okanagan before contact. The grassland sweeps down to the turquoise bay between rugged cliffs and forested mountains.”
BC Parks has tried to purchase a piece of the adjacent hayfield to expand the popular Cosens Bay parking lot, but the Agricultural Land Commission has said no, even though the land wouldn’t be taken out of the Agricultural Land Reserve.
“But right now, the hayfield near the Cosens Bay parking lot is for sale. The ALC could act to value nature and agricultural land, with the support of local and provincial decision-makers, by allowing a small section of hayfield to serve as unpaved parking, rather than desecrate the integrity of the Cosens Bay Valley.
“Please urge decision-makers and the ALC to act for the greater good and give nature a place to be whole.”
By Sunday morning, March 14, the group was more than halfway to its goal of 1,000 signatures.