Here's the proposed plan for the McArthur Island Park golf course | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Here's the proposed plan for the McArthur Island Park golf course

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KAMLOOPS - What was once a golf course on the city's North Shore could eventually become a multi-purpose park with a disc golf course.

For months, Kamloops city staff have been collecting input from the community on what the former McArthur Island Park golf course should be used for. The city took control of the golf course last October.

Along with the online surveys and open houses, the city's park and recreation department have been in talks with the Kamloops Disc Club and Kamloops Naturalist Club about what would be the best use for the land, and the groups presented separate proposals to council.

The Kamloops Naturalist Club is in favour of a nature centre and the Kamloops Disc Golf Club has proposed a championship level disc golf course. The two groups had their final meeting with city staff on Friday, Sept. 14.

Ben Laidlaw with the Disc Golf Club says the final proposal for the location might feature walking paths, a disc golf course, picnic benches, nature and historical education features along with hiking and biking trails.

"We've been consulting with the city for the last couple months," Laidlaw says. "The city decided they're going to move forward with a proposal to turn the location into a multi-use space."

Representatives from the Naturalist Club are opposed to the idea of including a disc golf course in the same area as a nature park. Jesse Ritcey, a board director with the Kamloops Naturalist Club, says they have some concerns with the proposal moving forward.

“Calling it a mixed-use proposal is misleading,” Ritcey says. “It’s a term the parks department used in our Friday meeting, it’s marketing and it de-emphasizes the disc golf component of the park while suggesting our contributions are included.”

Ritcey says the Naturalist Club believes there is too much incompatibility with a nature-focused park beside a disc golf course.

“We wouldn’t do a nature education (centre) on a disc golf course and our partners have indicated they won’t build enhancements to a disc golf course as the only people would benefit from that would be a very narrow slice of the population who plays disc golf,” he says.

The Disc Golf Club was hoping to have a more challenging golf course within the city.

"I'm not going to say it's exactly what we wanted but we support the city proposal going forward," Laidlaw says. "Through the negotiation process (our proposal) has been scaled back and other activities have been included."

Despite the changes to the disc golf club's proposal, he says he still appreciative of the outcome.

"It's not what we came to the table proposing but we feel it is a good compromise that will provide the most benefit to the most people," Laidlaw says.

The city’s parks and civic facilities manager Jeff Putnam says he can’t comment on the details of the proposal because things are still being finalized. He says a final report will be brought back to council next month or in November.

“The implementation timeline will depend on what direction administration receives from council and associated costs if any,” Putnam says in an emailed statement. “Having said that, we would really like to move forward with a plan as soon as possible.”

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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