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Greater Vernon partners agree on further parks restructuring for sports fields and beaches

Posted Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Greater Vernon partners of the Regional District of North Okanagan have reached agreement on changes to improve the operation and management of parks within the Greater Vernon area.

On Monday May 9, 2017, the Greater Vernon partners, which include the City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream, and Regional District of North Okanagan Electoral Areas ‘B’ and ‘C’, endorsed an agreement that will see the sports fields and beaches within Greater Vernon transferred to and operated by the municipality in which they are located. This authority will include the future planning and improvement of those parks, along with the responsibility for long term planning and acquisition of any new sports fields and beaches.

“Our sports fields and beaches are beloved by the community, and help to generate a significant portion of our sport and destination tourism,” said Juliette Cunningham, City of Vernon Councillor and Chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee. “It’s important that they continue to be well maintained so that they adequately reflect the values of our community.”

Transferring with the sports fields and beaches is the funding that had been ear-marked for improvements in 2017. “It was important to all of the partners that the commitment to making improvements was retained, and that the municipalities had the resources they needed to make those improvements” said Bob Fleming, Electoral Area ‘B’ Director and Regional District of North Okanagan Board Chair. “The intention of this transaction is to promote increased local autonomy of the sports fields and beaches by the municipalities, allowing for improved operating efficiencies” said Fleming, “and I believe that this arrangement will allow us to be successful in doing that.” The two electoral areas will continue to financially support the transferred parks and beaches, at their current level, through an annual grant.

“The signing of this agreement marks a new era in the delivery of parks in the Greater Vernon area” said Jim Garlick, District of Coldstream Mayor and Director on the Regional District board. “We will continue with what has been working, keeping natural areas and trails with the Regional District, and improve upon it by assigning the responsibility for sports fields and beaches to the municipalities, who are able to be more responsive to their local communities needs.”

This agreement applies to the following sports fields and beaches:

Vernon Fields / Beaches

  • DND Grounds
  • Marshall Fields
  • Paddlewheel Park
  • Kin Beach

Coldstream Fields / Beaches

  • Creekside Park
  • Kal Beach

The work required to complete the transfer will be undertaken through 2017, with the agreement to be in full affect by January 1, 2018.