Naturalist group fears road construction will ruin wetland trail in Vernon | Vernon News | iNFOnews

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Naturalist group fears road construction will ruin wetland trail in Vernon

A sign on the BX Creek walking trail says 'B.C. road expansion not wanted in this park.'
September 20, 2016 - 10:30 AM

VERNON - There’s concern that a road expansion project will destroy a popular walking trail.

Harold Sellers, president of the North Okanagan Naturalists Club, says the 20 Street expansion project — the latest solution to safety issues at Stickle Road and Highway 97 — will cut right through the BX Creek wetland and walking trail behind Rona.

“The extension would go right through the middle of that wetland. It would essentially eliminate it,” Sellers says.

The expansion plan would connect a frontage road along Highway 97 with 20 Street, and allow drivers a route back into Vernon that doesn’t require turning left from Stickle Road onto the highway.

Sellers says a lot of people use the trail, including cyclists, commuters and dog walkers. Even though the transportation route would still be available via the new road, he says the natural setting would be lost.

His group supports the concept of a traffic light at Stickle Road and Highway 97 instead of road expansion through the wetland, but the province has shown little appetite for that idea in the past.

Sellers says the wetland provides habitat for birds and other wildlife.

His group plans to keep writing letters to the Ministry of Transportation urging them to take a different course of action.

The BX Creek trail runs roughly from the 20 Street area behind Rona down to 48 Avenue.

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