PENTICTON - Opening its doors after being shut down for more than a year, a Naramata retreat hopes to draw locally as it seeks new ways to operate.
Naramata Centre Board member Doug Woollard says a group of 30 volunteers from across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and locally from Naramata have been sprucing the place up, cutting grass and cleaning the grounds in preparation for reopening of Naramata Centre tomorrow, Saturday, May 28.
Woollard says the centre hopes to stay open until Oct.15.
A strike that took place amongst CUPE 608 workers at the centre prior to it closing its doors was settled in the spring of 2015. Woollard says the centre no longer has a union and is now being operated primarily by volunteers.
“We have a small number of people contracted to do some work for us, but for the most part we are using volunteers,” Woollard says.
The centre hopes to appeal to as many people as possible, providing a wide variety of programs for all ages.
“We’re also offering, for the first time, the opportunity to stay at the centre without taking any programs,” he says, which opens up the centre’s campground and cabin facilities to other visitors.
Woollard says the centre now hopes to draw residents from the South Okanagan who are interested in camping or cabin accommodations.
“We’re also thinking people from local communities would be interested in driving out to the centre for the day to take one of the programs, some of which are single or half day sessions,” he says.
“I think this is a great opportunity for members of the South Okanagan community to come out to the centre, spend some time in Naramata and enjoy the community and one of our programs,” Woollard says.
A Syrian refugee family has also taken up residence in the centre. Woollard says the family has been at the facility for about a month and are adapting well, adding there is a possibility of one more family locating at the centre.
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