Sicamous Beach Park is one of the public recreation sites included in the Parks and Trails Master Plan presented at the Planning and Development Committee meeting on Dec. 7, 2022. (File photo)

Sicamous Beach Park is one of the public recreation sites included in the Parks and Trails Master Plan presented at the Planning and Development Committee meeting on Dec. 7, 2022. (File photo)

Safer highway crossings, trail system connections among key input for Sicamous parks plan

8 types of parks identified, winter use park designation important

A draft of the Parks and Trails Master Plan was presented to the Sicamous Development and Planning Committee, detailing a new classification system for the area’s parks and recommendations to improve the recreational spaces.

During the Dec. 7 committee meeting, it was explained that the official vision of the master plan is “to protect, maintain and enhance existing parks, trails and facilities, and plan for future parks and trails while facilitating all-season use and improved accessibility for all ages and abilities.” The final copy of the plan will be completed in January 2023.

Public feedback was collected this past summer alongside input concerning the active transportation network plan. Key points were that more than half of the respondents use Sicamous parks regularly and they get their information about the parks through word of mouth primarily, not any specified source. Recommendations from the public included connection of trail systems leading to parks, downtown areas, schools and other points of interest, safer highway crossings with better signage, and general maintenance and improvement of existing parks and trails.

A classification system with a detailed inventory was presented to organize the types of parks in Sicamous.

The types of parks include:

  • Waterfront park;
  • Natural park;
  • Road right-of-way walkway/ beach access;
  • Neighbourhood park;
  • Pocket park (0.1 to 0.5 hectares in size);
  • Greenway system;
  • Trail;
  • Other (including schools, golf courses, the rec centre and curling rink).

Recommendations were listed for what kind of design or upgrade is required for each specific type of park. For example, pocket parks are not a designated park under bylaw, but the committee said they can easily be designated as an official park and have a big impact on the community’s quality of life. There was a discussion about reviewing the parks bylaw and classifying and upgrading pocket parks as budgets allow.

Winter design parks, specifically designated for all-season use, were also recommended. The committee discussed designing features within existing parks that people can use in the winter months, like fire pits and toboggan hills, and possibly partnering with non-profit organizations to keep people active during all seasons. The committee agreed that building Sicamous as more than just a summer destination and using all spaces in all seasons is important.

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rebecca.willson@saobserver.net

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