The same area with the addition of a few trees.

Sustainable Kimberley makes presentation to Council

Group looking to increase urban green space

A new group has emerged in Kimberley, interested in partnering with the community to build a stronger, more resilient, more attractive, greener town.

Founded by Andrew Bond, Sustain Kimberley has been forming for about three months, and they have an ambitious agenda.

Bond made a presentation to Kimberley City Council this week, outlining their plans.

“”We don’t want Kimberley to look like Calgary or any of the bit ski resorts,” Bond said. “We appreciate the history behind Kimberley. We want to bring back that community feel, preserve our environment and deliver a strong economy.”

Bond says he has spent a lot of time looking at Kimberley’s Official Community Plan, which he calls an excellent document.

“We see ourselves as a partner to help deliver the vision in the OCP.”

He says that if you look at the downtown, aside from the Platzl, there is very little green space.

“Trees have matured, they get overlarge and they get removed,” he said. “We’d like to increase visual effect that will attract tourists. The Platzl is wonderful. The rest is tired.”

It’s not just the downtown area, the group is looking at. Bond brought up a photo of the entrance to Marysville. He says they recognize these are businesses that employ people, but adding a few trees could go a long way to making the first sight of Kimberley more appealing.

Another area the group is interested in seeing improved is the Platzl parking lot.

The City is actually in the process of applying for a grant for improvements to the parking lot, so Bond acknowledges it may be too late in the game, but he does have some suggestions.

The idea is to create more urban green space, which in turn provides extra storm water drainage. The Platzl parking lot, he says, could be more pedestrian friendly, if you moved people to a pedestrian walkway near the buildings. The outer sidewalk could then be removed and green space created. This would also have the effect of offering more retail opportunity in the back.

“We will come to you with problems, but also with solutions,” he said. They would also come with volunteers to do work.

Coun. Jason Mccain asked what kind of constraints there might be with volunteers working on city property and City COA Scott Sommerville said that there is the issue of bargaining unit work.

On the whole, Council was impressed with the presentation and the work that has been done already to form the society.