West Kelowna acquires parkland for sports field and trail development
(JENNIFER STAHN / iNFOnews.ca)
September 08, 2018 - 11:22 AM
WEST KELOWNA - Sports fans and outdoor enthusiasts can expect a new athletic field, as well as a trail and nature park in West Kelowna
The City of West Kelowna sent out a media release to announce it has acquired 5.34 hectares, or 13.2 acres, of land located at 2100 Westlake Road for park purposes.
The property is adjacent to a recently acquired property on McDougall Road, that is the site for a multi-purpose indoor sports facility currently in the design stage, and Rosewood Sportsfield. A 3.64 hectare portion of the property was purchased by the City for future athletic fields and a 1.70 hectare section was donated by the landowner to accommodate a nature trail and nature park.
The 3.65 hectare future athletic field site was purchased for $4.25 million. The acquisition provides the City with a consolidated 7.89 hectares of parkland which offers: numerous configuration options; ability to accommodate future growth and host tournaments; and, operational and maintenance efficiencies.
“Council is pleased with this land acquisition as it furthers our intentions for a consolidated recreational site in West Kelowna,” says Mayor Doug Findlater. “What is also important to note is this purchase is accomplished without the use of tax dollars.”
The project was fully funded by Parks Development Cost Charges. Municipalities levy Development Cost Charges on new development to pay for new or expanded infrastructure to adequately service community growth. The acquisition is in keeping with Council’s 20-year Parks Development Cost Charge capital cost plan for park property acquisition in the community.
The property was purchased from the descendants of Mar Fee and Mar Jok, brothers who emigrated from China to Canada in 1910. Older brother Mar Fee worked to put Mar Jok through school. In 1929, the brothers opened and operated the Golden Pheasant Café in downtown Kelowna. The brothers ran a soup kitchen out the back door of the restaurant after hours during the depression years to feed those in need.
In 1956, Jok and Fee purchased and shared 365 acres of land in West Kelowna now known as Rose Valley and used 60 acres of it for farming asparagus and for raising chickens, geese, and beehives for honey. Throughout their time in the area, the brothers were known for their generosity, benevolence and their willingness to help others and the community at large. Mar Jok Elementary School, located adjacent to the subject lands was also named in honour of the family.
The timing of planning, design and construction will be further considered as part of the City’s 10 year capital planning process.
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