Rather than look at the task of raising $51,000 to ensure a park rather than a quarry at Cherry Creek Falls as a insurmountable obstacle, the members of the Meadowbrook Community Association decided it could be done, and they are now half way to their goal.
The $51,000 is needed to purchase a 400 plus acre mineral tenure adjacent to Cherry Creek Falls, which would then enable the Regional District of East Kootenay to create the day-use Cherry Creek Falls regional park.
Community Association President Bob Johnstone says that more than $23,000 in pledges has been received since September since the decision was made to try to raise the funds. In addition, there has been an offer to provide free legal services.
The history on the park goes back to September 2011 when residents and recreational users got word of a possible quarry on the tenure. An organized community association was formed soon after and the MCA got down to the work of figuring out the best way to prevent a quarry near the popular recreation spot.
There was plenty of back and forth between the Association and the various provincial ministries involved. Area E Director Jane Walter advocated for the group at the RDEK level.
Johnstone also sought political assistance.
“In December, Bill Bennett, MLA for East Kootenay and Minister for Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and Doug Clovechok, BC Liberal candidate for Columbia River – Revelstoke met with the MCA President and Vice President to indicate that if the purchase proceeds, officials in Mines and Forestry are prepared to designate the entire tenure as a no staking reserve and for the use recreation and enjoyment of the public,” he said.
In the end, the only viable solution was the purchase of the tenure. Residents were informed of this option last September at a public meeting and there was unanimous agreement that raising enough funds for the purchase should be attempted.
The Kimberley and District Community Foundation has assisted by establishing the Cherry Creek Falls Park Fund, which will allow tax receipts to be issued.
“If the purchase proceeds as planned, tax receipts will be issued,” Johnstone said. “If for some reason it does not, the donations will be returned.”
Anyone wishing to donate can send a cheque payable to the Kimberley & District Community Foundation and designated for the Cherry Creek Falls Park Fund to John Lyon, MCA Treasurer, 454-8th Avenue, Kimberley, BC V1A 2X7, or make a cash donation by calling John at 250-427-2421 or e-mailing him at email@example.com.