Parks help create healthy lifestyles

Dear Editor:

Save Skaha Park Society (SSP) encourages everyone to attend the Okanagan Similkameen Healthy Living Fair this Saturday.

SSP and the Healthy Living Fair are both committed to spreading the word about the joy of healthy living. And SSP will be at the Fair to promote healthy living!

Yes, SSP was formed in opposition to the Trio waterslide agreement that was hastily approved by our Penticton City Council despite unprecedented public protest. We have fought hard to win this battle, and will continue to do so. It’s not over!

But perhaps SSP has not spent enough time articulating the positive role of Skaha Park and other natural urban spaces. The Healthy Living Fair presents a wonderful opportunity for us to shift the discussion away from the waterslides and address the question, “Why is saving this park from commercialization so important? What is its value?”

The answer, in a nutshell, has to do with the well-documented benefits to our physical, emotional and social health that a natural park, like Skaha Park, offers to the whole community.

Far from being underused land waiting to be commercially developed, natural parks are public assets with tangible public value that smart growth cities have learned to protect, promote and expand.

Some of us go to the gym. Others play team sports. But, whether we walk, bike or run; whether we enjoy a family picnic; or just sit on a bench to enjoy the unparalleled ambience – everyone, young and old, regardless of means, can use this gem of a park to experience the joy of healthy living!

We’d love to tell you more about the value of our urban natural parks, and to hear your opinion. So please come on down to the Fair at the Trade and Convention Centre on Saturday, March 12 and see us at Booth 68. Join the positive conversation about natural parks and community

wellness.

Membership in the Society is just $2 per person and will be available at our booth.

Dr. Gerry Karr

For Save Skaha Park Society

Penticton