I learned that in 2019, a 6-acre parcel of land in our community was zoned for park purposes and a new committee was formed to coordinate the development of the Jamie Soule Memorial Park for community members. Our four-person committee familiarized ourselves with the park boundaries and the lay of the land. Once the snow melted, we met regularly at the park to discuss how to proceed. We agreed that the development of a walking trail in the park would be a feasible initial project. A neighbour told me about the Neighbourhood Small Grant opportunity and the committee supported an application. We were very pleased to receive the $500 fund!

Our committee met outdoors at the park on a weekly basis from August 20 to September 24. Based on many walks through the park property, the committee determined a route for the walking trail including stops of interest. We scheduled a community trail building event at the park for Sunday, September 26 in conjunction with a FireSmart workday. We also welcomed another committee member who volunteered to be responsible for activities for children attending our event.

Initial preparation of the park included erecting a sign with the municipal address for the park, signage indicating the property lines and for deterring trespassing, clearing a large parking lot near the entrance and a smaller parking lot further into the park for handicapped visitors, and designating an area for picnic tables, a children’s activity area, and future bathroom facilities.

There was a great turnout of 46 community members, including children. All COVID guidelines for an outdoor event were followed.

September 26th Agenda for the Event
• Sign-in registration.
• Welcome and minute of silence and reflection.
• Brief introduction to the park, initial development plans and walking trail project.
• Review of FireSmart guidelines and organization of work crews.
• Trail clearing and firesmarting, including children’s activity area.
• Supervised craft activities for children.
• Lunch – hot dogs, granola bars, apples, bottled/canned drinks – followed COVID guidelines

It was a wonderful day and now we have plans for 2022 that we can’t wait to start. The community of Anarchist is appreciative of the Neighbourhood Small Grant.
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South Okanagan-Similkameen

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