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Kamloops News

Future of McArthur Island golf course could be decided tomorrow

The closed McArthur Island Park Golf Course is pictured in this October 2017 file photo.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO

KAMLOOPS - After two open houses and an online survey for public input, Kamloops city council is getting closer to developing a plan for the land use at the former McArthur Island Park golf course.

In a report prepared for city council tomorrow, May 8, councillors will hear the results gathered from the public for the future use of the area.

The most popular result by a “wide margin” was to leave the natural passive area as is, with trails and an educational component, according to the report. The second most popular option is to develop a disc golf course.

If city council approves the recommendation tomorrow, city officials will begin to work with the Kamloops Naturalist Club and the Kamloops Disc Golf Club to create a plan.

However, some members of the Kamloops Naturalist Club have shared their concerns on Facebook about the potential risks of having a disc golf course in close proximity to people enjoying the area for bird watching, picnics and photography.

Kamloops Disc Golf Club vice president Chris Wilson says he understands the worry some might have about the development, but says preserving nature is a top priority for the club.

“I think the majority of respondents don’t want (McArthur Island Park golf course) turned into something,” Wilson says. “We hear, ‘don’t pave it over, just leave it as a natural passive park space.’”

Wilson says the construction for a disc golf course would require little disruption.

"It's a very low impact sport to nature," he says. "We are in this sport because we love nature."

The Kamloops Naturalist Club is concerned about discs being thrown close to people not participating in the sport. Wilson says there have been almost no reports of people being hit at the other courses throughout the city.

"We are extremely cautious when it comes to our discs," Wilson says. "I have never seen anyone get hit."

He adds another reason the club would like to see a disc golf course in the area is because of its location along a bus route.

"We don't have a course available on a bus route, so it's extremely challenging to provide this activity to people who may not have access to a vehicle," Wilson says. "So we thought having a disc golf course at this sport complex was a wonderful fit."

The city took control of the former golf course at McArthur Island Park when the previous owner terminated his lease after 25 years. The city says it's one of the city’s busiest parks and is used for all kinds of recreational purposes including soccer, baseball and ice hockey.

The use recommendations for the golf course will be presented to council tomorrow, May 8.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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