The Gregson name grows on McArthur Island

Pending final approval from Kamloops council, Native Plant Walk on McArthur Island will be renamed the “Gregson Native Plant Walk." A butterfly garden on island is also named for the Gregson family.

The City of Kamloops is looking to rename the Native Plant Walk on McArthur Island the “Gregson Native Plant Walk” following the closure of a trail over the winter that was named in honour of late Kamloops entomologist Jack Gregson.

Gregson’s name was formerly connected to a trail on a railway right-of-way in Valleyview. Canadian Pacific Railway closed the trail in November to make way for more track. In light of that closure, the city sought to rename an existing pathway to keep the Gregson name alive.

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On Monday afternoon (March 8) during the city’s civic operations committee meeting, parks manager Jeff Putnam said the city received feedback from the Kamloops Naturalist Club, Kamloops Outdoor Club, Kamloops Hiking Club and city’s parks engagement group. Gregson’s family is also apparently in support of the recommendation.

Putnam said the name will be added to the sign on the existing pathway, which covers the west end of McArthur Island. Putnam said it is appropriate for the Gregson name to appear in the popular North Kamloops park.

“Mr. Gregson was actually instrumental in the creation of the McArthur Island slough wetlands back in the 1960s and he secured a $12,000 loan from the federal government, which was kind of unheard of at the time — it was a lot of money back in those days — to actually create the west end of the slough to be a year-round wetlands area,” Putnam said. “We think the location is absolutely perfect.”

A butterfly garden on McArthur Island is also named for the Gregson family.

The civic operations committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation, with Mayor Ken Christian and councillors Bill Sarai and Kathy Sinclair voting in favour. The recommendation will go to council for a final vote. Putnam said the Native Plant Walk pathway is in need of asphalt repairs, which will occur this year.

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