City council has given its blessing to a memorial walkway at McGuire Lake.
The plan was conceived by the Shuswap Community Foundation in collaboration with the City of Salmon Arm.
Brad Ackerman, the city’s parks and recreation foreman, told council Monday the city receives requests for memorial benches every year that exceed the city’s ability to provide.
Currently a list of 35 names is waiting for memorial benches and/or trees. In addition, the trees and benches are sometimes vandalized, ranging from being spray painted to completely destroyed.
In Ackerman’s discussions with Joanne Mason, manager of Downtown Salmon Arm as well as a director with the Shuswap Community Foundation, they talked about alternate funding sources as well as an effective way to deal with people’s requests.
The result was the idea for a bricked walkway in McGuire Lake Park. The engraved bricks would honour the memory of a loved one or celebrate a milestone or achievement.
With a $1,500 donation to the community foundation, citizens will purchase a 12- by 25-inch memorial brick, and will receive a $1,500 tax receipt.
From that total, $250 would go to the city for preparing, installing and maintaining the bricks; $250 would go to community foundation administrative costs, a portion which would be reduced over time if not needed; and $1,000 would be placed into a permanent and discretionary Memorial Walk Fund.
The fund could then grow and provide returned investment into local charities and causes.
Ackerman said the brick walkway would be near the Japanese gate.
Coun. Alan Harrison remarked that it sounds like a good location and a good concept.
“It wouldn’t take up green space and would be on an existing gravel walkway.”
He said he would like to see a community group take over the city’s role.
Coun. Ken Jamieson said the walkway would be a great addition, but he would like to see it more affordable.
“I have to be honest, $1,500, for some people, that’s just not possible.”
Mason said she thinks any changes are possible as the idea is new to both the community foundation and the city.
“It’s something we’d like to come back and revisit,” she said. “But in the meantime we want to make it as simple as possible.”
Council unanimously approved the plan. Coun. Debbie Cannon was absent.