Public park shelter proposed in celebration of Salmon Arm volunteer Rob Nash

Salmon Arm council supports plan while family and friends to cover cost of building, materials

Family and friends of Rob Nash wish to build a public shelter honouring the Shuswap volunteer who was killed in May of this year while assisting the victims of a motor vehicle accident on the Coquihalla highway. (File photo)

Salmon Arm council supports the plan to celebrate the life of a dedicated community volunteer by building a covered shelter in the South Canoe area.

A letter was sent to council from Roger Parenteau on behalf of the friends and family of Robert Nash. Rob was killed on May 16 of this year while assisting the victims of a motor vehicle accident on the Coquihalla highway.

“Working in collaboration with individuals and groups that have been touched by Rob’s passion for the outdoors, we wish to create a public space for anyone to enjoy and share in his love of the natural beauty of Salmon Arm,” states the letter. “Rob’s commitment to volunteerism, and the South Canoe and Larch Hills areas in particular, has led us to request your approval for the construction of a covered public shelter as part of the upcoming South Canoe Park redevelopment.”

The letter continues: “In keeping with the care and selflessness that the Nash family has exhibited toward their community, Heather (Rob’s spouse) has offered to provide the necessary funding for the construction of a shelter. She has further offered to donate timber from the Nash property for construction. Numerous friends have offered their skills, material and labour as well.”

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The Shuswap Trail Alliance is also working to adapt an existing design for a shelter that will conform to design and building requirements.

“At present, we are not including a request that the structure be dedicated in honour of Rob. Heather has expressed her concern that such a request may cause a delay in construction and that her priority is the creation of a space for all to enjoy, just as Rob would have wanted it,” the letter concludes.

Council asked for further information from city staff at its Oct. 15 meeting.

Rob Niewenhuizen, director of engineering and public works, said the location still needs work, and the group is engaging an architect and structural engineer. He said the structure will require a building permit because it’s a public facility.

Niewenhuizen also mentioned a “one year cool-down naming policy” the city has.

Coun. Kevin Flynn commented: “The fact they’re not asking for naming at this point and it’s a public facility that could be very helpful to our community moving forward, and no cost except for some staff time, I think we should support it wholeheartedly.”

Council did just that, voting unanimously in favour of directing staff to work with Parenteau and the friends and family of Rob Nash on the project.

@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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