A sign on the hill below the Marysville benchlands

Save Me; fight goes on for Marysville benchlands

Reader Richard Dick shares his opinion on Benchland zoning

Canada’s most western province “British Columbia” has an area on its eastern side known as the “East Kootenay”. The City of Kimberley is located in this East Kootenay. Marysville is part of Kimberley located to its south and has a hill on its north side. It is referred to as the Bench Lands. This was news to me because I grew up knowing this height of land only as “Hickey Hill”.

During the early 60’s as I grew and started to stretch my legs, my father was very specific with many reminders that I should not be up there when it was dark.

From our home in Marysville I grew up and I watched the trains hauling the empty ore cars going to Kimberley and then back down the grade full of Sullivan ore. First there was the steam engines and then diesel. That is all history now and the train tracks have been removed. This right of way is now the “Rails to Trails”, a paved walkway / bike path between Kimberley & Cranbrook. On the top of the bench there is also a natural walking path called the “Volksmarch Trail” for those who are not fond of asphalt.

The City of Kimberley is currently trying to get this area zoned Industrial. Kimberley certainly can benefit from industry moving into the area and I am not aware of anyone who is against this. The closing down of our previous major industry known as CM&S then COMINCO now TECK which occurred in 2001 has definitely had its effect.

From above the “SAVE ME” sign, the top of the Bench Lands or Hickey Hill (depending on your age) offers these spectacular views.

. West up the St Mary’s Valley.

. To the East the Butte, Wycliffe and past that the Rockies.

. To the South there is Marysville, the St Mary river nestled under Grassy Mountain.

If you have not visited this view for a while or never have it is time you do. Going towards Kimberley on Jim Ogilvie Way just past the Transfer Station on the left you will find a blue gate with a parking area. It is a very short walk & take your camera. Walk up & down the path and occasionally turn to the north and try to visualize Industry there!

You can see the only Zoning for this area should be recreational!

Once this is zoned Industry it is gone forever!

Industry does not need a view!

Richard Dick

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