Skaha shore irreplaceable

Dear Editor:

As a former Peach Queen who grew up here and traveled as an ambassador for Penticton to sing its praises, I have recently returned, drawn by the beauty of Penticton.

I am writing to implore City Council to reverse its decision to develop the west side of Skaha Lake. Many visitors and taxpayers of all ages treasure Skaha’s natural beauty and clean water. To turn public green space into a concrete and steel development is terribly short sighted.

The water slides and surrounding chain-link fence will be a visual blight on the bucolic landscape. It will sit dormant most of the year, given our weather, locking the public from public lands. Water quality is likely to suffer as nature’s filters — trees and other vegetation — will be bulldozed for more pavement. The rationale to forfeit public park land now, for the promise of a purported trickle of money to buy park land in the future, is absurd. I cannot think of any more precious place than our treasured and attractive Skaha Lake shore.

It’s irreplaceable.

Once the trees, riparian areas, and serenity which make Skaha so beautiful are gone, they are lost forever.  The economic rationale is not the right one in this case. Many visitors want green space and natural areas.

Recent scientific studies show that green space is essential to our collective health and well being.

Erosion of Penticton’s beauty, green space, and water quality will detract from the tranquility that Skaha offers and have visitors looking elsewhere for places to vacation and to spend and invest money.

I am certain that the majority of Pentictonites want to protect what little is left of the trees and green spaces in the lake areas. Please allow people to vote on this issue in a referendum so that the wishes of the people are known. The legacy of this mayor and council as leaders will be judged on this issue.

Nancy Baron (Buck)

Queen Val Vedette XXVII

Penticton