Future of Vernon's BX Ranchlands secured | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Future of Vernon's BX Ranchlands secured

A popular green space in Vernon's BX area will remain in the publics' hands and could possible become an educational agricultural park and facility. Directors at the Regional District of North Okanagan resolved to keep the BX Ranchlands and sell a section of the land to Electoral Areas B and C.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Regional District of North Okanagan
January 28, 2021 - 2:36 PM

A popular green space in Vernon's BX area will remain in the publics' hands and could possible become an educational agricultural park and facility.

Directors at the Regional District of North Okanagan resolved to keep the BX Ranchlands and sell a section of the land to Electoral Areas B and C.

The move means that a proposal to develop the site as an agricultural park can move forward.

The future of the BX Ranchlands had been in flux in recent years after the Regional District looked at selling the 137-acre site. While the site sits within the Agricultural Land Reserve and could not have been used for housing, it could have become private property which would have prevented residents from using the land.

According to a media release from the regional district, the board resolved to sell the land to Electoral Areas B and C at yesterday's, Jan. 27, meeting.

"The BX Ranchlands are historically significant for our area. You can’t create more green space, but you can conserve that which is undeveloped, and for this exact reason, we have worked to retain this property in public hands for the benefit of our communities. It is a great big, beautiful open space right on the edge of the City," regional district Electoral Area B director Bob Fleming said in the release. "We thank our partners, the City of Vernon and the District of Coldstream, for their cooperation in allowing us to conserve this amazing property for the benefit of the entire community and, really, the whole region."

The regional district says discussions can now begin looking at how the land could be used.

The BX Swan Lake Community Association has been campaigning to protect the Ranchlands for several years and has proposed that an agricultural park should be created.

"The public support for retaining the BX Ranchlands has been a driving force for our efforts to secure the land for our community," regional district Electoral Area C director Amanda Shatzko said in the release. "We will continue to consult with residents and collaborative organizations as we plan the future of a regionally significant park."

The regional district is currently working with the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University looking at the possibility of a regional agriculture and food system education facility being created at the Ranchlands. The district says the facility would not have a bricks-and-mortar building but focus on hands-on agricultural learning.

Now that the future of the land is secured, the next step is for a feasibility study into the proposal to take place.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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