Kamloops club needs support to turn McArthur Island Park golf course into nature centre - InfoNews

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Kamloops club needs support to turn McArthur Island Park golf course into nature centre

The future of the old McArthur Island Park golf course is still in the works.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 13, 2018 - 3:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - The Kamloops Naturalist Club wants residents to tell city council to approve a proposal to turn the former McArthur Island golf course into an interpretive nature centre.

Earlier this year, Kamloops city council heard from the public about what should happen to the old golf course at McArthur Island Park. The city took control of the area in October after the previous owner decided to terminate their lease.

A report prepared for city council on May 8 stated the most popular response through an online survey and two open houses was to leave the area as is, with trails and an educational component to teach visitors to the park about the different species and plants living in the area. Another popular option was to develop a disc golf course.

But the Kamloops Naturalist Club says they have some concerns with a disc golf course being in close proximity to an interpretive nature centre.

“We have gone through a process with meeting with the disc golf (club) and then talking to some landscape architects and designers and the consensus is that the two don’t go together,” Jesse Ritcey, a board director with the Kamloops Naturalist Club says. “There’s the noise aspect when something is educational, you want more of a quiet setting that doesn’t really have a lot of loud sports activities… so that was our concern with incorporating a lot of active sport uses into the park.”

Ritcey says the nature centre would allow people to go to the park to learn about the plants, animals and the history of the region through educational signs.

“Our big thing is every city our size seems to have a nature centre that people, visitors, and locals can go to, to learn about the local ecosystems,” he says. “We don’t really have that in Kamloops.”

Ritcey says the closest Kamloops has to a nature centre is McQueen Lake Environmental Education Centre located northwest of the city.

"That area is always at capacity, we are definitely lacking that in Kamloops, it's something we would like to come to the island," he says. 

Ritcey says they are still working with city council to finalize the decisions for the plans for the area.

“Really, it’s council that will have the final say here, so that’s why we have encouraged people to get in touch with council and tell council ‘Let’s make this happen.’”

The nature centre would be completed in phases over a longer period of time, Ritcey explains.

“We want to take advantage of grants, I know Scout Island in Williams Lake has been a process for 20 years, it’s sort of a slow progress,” he says. “But we are not looking to go in there and spend $3 million or something ridiculous, it’s a very community built park.”


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