Two years ago during the Official Community Plan planning process with the community of Wilmer, I was surprised to learn that the large wooded ravine area bordered by Mays Avenue, Bullin Street and Wells Avenue was a Crown land designated park. Some residents were pleasantly surprised as well and, during the planning process, it was determined that it would be best to designate it as public green space. In essence, the decision was made to just let it be.
Recently, the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations informed the Regional District of East Kootenay that our land tenure for the area is up for renewal and that more detailed information on the use and the need for this green space would have to be submitted with our request for renewal of tenure.
This opens up the need for public discussion on the future use of the area, which, as local historian Arnor Larson points out, was historically called Selkirk Park. As a result, I will be meeting with the community this spring to discuss the future of the park.
In anticipation of this discussion, I would like residents to think about how they are currently using the park and what improvements (if any) they would like to see made to the park. This could include things like trails or picnic tables, for example. I also want them to think about why the park is important to them. If any improvements were to be made to the park, there would be a cost factor to consider, so I would also like residents to give some thought as to what they would be willing to pay to maintain or upgrade the park.
My goal is to have a meeting with the community later this spring to discuss the community’s vision for the future of Selkirk Park. While we don’t have a date set at this time, the meeting will be held in the newly renovated Wilmer Community Hall and we will keep the community informed when the meeting details have been confirmed.
Gerry Wilkie is the Regional District of East Kootenay director for Area G, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org