Look around the Okanagan Valley

Dear Editor:

The Chelsea Garden Show, in the UK, is a spectacular spring event and competition. This year the Morgan Stanley Garden, entry for the Great Ormond Street Hospital, to which it will be relocated, was a gold-medal winner.

The garden was designed to be a reflective space for families of children undergoing treatment. It features dappled shade, restful water and a rich green scheme. Green proven calming to children with ADHD.

Paul Martin’s entry, Garden for Mindful Living, is a contemporary garden , designed to be a quiet, calm space, focussing on health and healing. It also won gold.

Can the best garden designers, in the UK, recognizing the need for the quiet, green spaces and the restorative benefits of plants and trees, be wrong?

What is a natural park but a large public garden? A green space on a scale not many of us can afford to own.

London spent 2 million pounds creating 100 pocket parks last year. Ladysmith on Vancouver Island has 110 hectares of parks and open spaces, seaside fun, nature experiences, playgrounds and playing fields. Montreal has more than 100 parks. Toronto has the famous Evergreen Brick Works, a quarry and buildings converted into a park/garden and educational centre. Toronto is very aware that as their city grows and public space becomes more and more precious parks and pocket parks become increasingly vital.

Penticton is not London or Toronto. But in the Okanagan we have seen Kelowna, Naramata, Okanagan Falls, and Summerland all buying more park land.

What do they know that Penticton doesn’t know. Parks put a city on the world stage by making them more liveable, more memorable , more beautiful.

On so many levels, Penticton can not afford to lose Skaha Lake Park to private development.

Lynn Crassweller