After residents expressed concerns about an unauthorized target shooting range near the Cherry Creek Rest area located 12 kilometres east of Kimberley, the Meadowbrook Community Association (MCA) took it upon themselves to organise a meeting with MLA Doug Clovechok, RDEK Area E Director Jane Walter, RCMP Sgt. Steve Woodcox, Conservation Officer Sgt. Denny Chretien and Natural Resource Officer Supervisor Kevin Vaters to address the problem.
At the meeting, the following was agreed upon:
• the MCA will organize volunteers to clean up this and other similar sites,
• the MCA will post signage encouraging legal and responsible shared recreational use,
• the RCMP and the Conservation Service will step up patrols,
• the MCA will initiate an awareness campaign to inform the public about the existing situation and the actions being taken in response.
On July 8, a group of 14 volunteers went out and cleaned up the site, and even went above and beyond, cleaning up another nearby area and a party site north of Cherry Creek Falls Park.
A total of five truck loads and one trailer load were hauled off to be disposed of at the appropriate RDEK facility, and because the material was collected by volunteers on Crown land, the RDEK waved the usual tipping fees.
MCA president Bob Johnstone said that the actions taken by this group of volunteers fell in line with the mission statement of the MCA, which is “to preserve and enhance the Meadowbrook and Woods Corner areas for residents and other recreational users.”
Johnstone said the MCA will continue in their efforts to promote recreational use in the area that conforms to the association’s policy on recreation.
“To support and foster legal, ethical and responsible recreational uses that preserve and enhance the area’s:
- rich cultural history that extends back 10,000 years
- sensitive and vulnerable species and ecosystems
- contribution to our local food supply
- natural beauty and serenity.”
He added that the MCA hopes to collaborate with others in Area E and Kimberley to “increase public awareness of the consequences of recreational uses that are not consistent with this philosophy.”