I believe one of the hardest jobs the new Kamloops council faces is deciding when to follow the desires of citizens when they were asked for their opinions and when to do something else entirely.
I refer to the discussion about a nature park and/or disc golf course on McArthur Island.
A May staff report states: “The most popular response, by a wide margin, was to leave the property as a natural, passive area with trails and an educational component.”
This was the result of a survey and two open houses.
I think it is a very strange situation when city staff continues to be directed to research mixing these activities when it is abundantly clear Kamloopsians told council what they wanted.
The nature park proposed by the Kamloops Naturalist Club would be an amazing addition to McArthur Park. It would bring some equality to the North Shore, balancing Gamble’s Pond in Aberdeen and the wetlands in Dufferin.
Statistically, one in five Canadians are interested in birding, whereas I could not find any statistics placing disc golf in the top 25 growth activities in North America. In addition to birders, Kamloops has a huge number of nature enthusiasts.
The Kamloops Naturalist Club is only one of many organizations catering to nature lovers, while many children participate in Nature Kids.
There is always activity on McArthur Island.
On a recent day at 9:15 a.m., there were moms with strollers and toddlers, cyclists, a pre-school group and walkers of all ages heading around the old golf course loop.
Just think what it would be like if there was a proper nature facility there, with school children, TRU students doing research, parents and children taking breaks from competition and the large contingent of daily park users.
Then try to envision discs flying around through it all.
From the beginning, I have been unable to understand why there is even a discussion about mixing the two activities.
The results of the city survey and open houses are crystal clear — residents want a natural area on the old golf course.
Council has the opportunity to listen to the people. If it doesn’t, we should never again wonder why people don’t vote, won’t participate in opinion surveys and are cynical about politicians.