Question: When is a park not a park? Answer: When it's an office building or a road.
Strange as it may seem, the City of Kelowna wants to update the community's crown jewel park by, well, making it less park-like.
Its long-range plan for City Park not only includes the contentious notion of eliminating the lawn bowling greens, it also includes a 16,000-square-foot office building and a road that would eat up more than 2 1/2 acres of greenspace. On top of that, in a somewhat disrespectful move to veterans and our sister city, an honorary walk commemorating war vets' sacrifices during the liberation of Holland would also be torn up and downsized.
We understand City Hall's goal of more people frequenting the park at more times of the day in an effort to keep undesirables away. But asphalt and concrete, parking stalls and cubicles will not achieve that.
Turning Kelowna's prized possession into a glorified parking lot will achieve just the opposite. No one but the crackheads will want to go there.
The park is already accessible to those less mobile, who can ride wheelchairs or scooters around the waterfront promenade, so the road is pointless.
And buildings in the park have had a sketchy history. We were glad to see the last one go and the area returned to parkland. Now, the city wants to ruin the space again.
A building is not a park. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
The park should include areas for activity and quiet spots for relaxation. It should look pretty.
Newsflash: potheads like beautiful places, too. If you don't want them there, please don't make the place less attractive to everybody.
Hire some security instead.
- Managing Editor