April 30, 2015 - 11:51 AM
KELOWNA - Silently they stand, motionless, offering mute testimony to what their cold hard eyes have witnessed. Which is nothing, really, because they are just piles of rock.
Locals and the more adventurous hikers have long known of the intricate free-style stone sculptures which have come and gone in a remote corner of Knox Mountain Park.
Call them what you will, stone cairns, sculptures, Inukshuks, but at one point a few years ago, there were at least 50 of them scattered around the northern end of the Glenmore Ridge trail.
No one knows who is erecting these stone cairns, but right now, their numbers are definitely lower and some of the more elaborate sculptures have been pulled down.
Given their inherent instability, the obvious suspect would be be the City of Kelowna parks department, perhaps concerned about liability should one of them crumble onto someone, but parks supervisor Ian Wilson says that’s not the case.
“We’ve never had an issue with them and there is no policy against them,” says Wilson, who says he’s well aware of their existence. “This is the first I’ve heard of anyone taking them down. I know we didn’t take them down."
Wilson says Knox Mountain Park is in a different category than the well-tended parks downtown and in other parts of Kelowna.
“We call it a natural park to differentiate it with the other parks that are more manicured and landscaped,” he says.
Wilson says park users must approach the stone sculptures with the same caution they would approach anything else.
“We caution people about bear sightings, cliffs, fallen trees, any potential hazard.”
While their numbers are down, the stone people of Knox Mountain are not out. If you’re ever in that corner of the park, stop by and say hello. And if you’re so inclined, pick up a rock and start building.
(JOHN MCDONALD /InfoTel Multimedia)
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