Lavington resident Dave Pope chained himself to a tree in the park across from the local elementary school Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in protest against use of park space for the construction of a child care facility. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)                                Lavington resident Dave Pope chained himself to a tree in the park across from the local elementary school Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in protest against use of park space for the construction of a child care facility. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Lavington resident Dave Pope chained himself to a tree in the park across from the local elementary school Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in protest against use of park space for the construction of a child care facility. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star) Lavington resident Dave Pope chained himself to a tree in the park across from the local elementary school Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in protest against use of park space for the construction of a child care facility. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

As crews cleared space in Lavington Centennial Park to prepare for the construction of a new child care facility, one resident demonstrated his opposition to the project’s location.

“I don’t believe the district should be taking a chunk of green space to put in a commercial business,” said Dave Pope, who chained himself to a tree in the northeast corner of the park Thursday, Aug. 6.

“I see the need for a daycare, I just don’t see the need to put it in a public green space that was donated to the district by the community residents of Lavington to be a park.”

The child care centre will be operated by Maven Lane and comes with support from the Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund, in partnership with the District of Coldstream. The centre is planned to open in December, providing 32 child care spaces including 12 spaces for infants and toddlers, eight spaces for children ages 3-5 and 12 spaces for children up to the age of 12.

Coldstream’s chief administrative officer Trevor Seibel was present at the park and spoke to Pope as crews worked in the background.

“This project has taken a great deal of care and attention to minimize the footprint in the park,” Seibel said, adding the public’s use of the park won’t change with the arrival of the new centre.

READ MORE: Lavington child care centre expected to open in December

“When council considered the locations this was the one that was the quickest and easiest, and it made the most sense because you’re bringing children to a park,” Seibel said of the location across from Lavington Elementary School.

The process of creating the new facility started after Lavington residents expressed concern to Coldstream council about a lack of child care spaces available in the region, around the time the B.C. government started offering the New Spaces Fund. That grant amounted to $636,800 from the province, the district announced in late April.

In June, a petition was started in opposition to building the facility in the park, which has since garnered more than 800 signatures.

“If this goes through, we get to look at a building in our park, see an increase in traffic on our already busy streets and have a government decide on our behalf that they can take away our greenspace/parks without discussion about the land,” the petition reads.

Three trees were removed to make room for the building’s foundation, but Seibel said those trees had been found to be dead or otherwise in need of future removal.

“Whether the child care facility was going to be here or not, those trees were going to have to come out anyway.”

As part of the building agreement, Seibel said Maven Lane will pay a lease fee to the municipality which will be reinvested into the park.

READ MORE: Petition says ‘no’ to new Lavington daycare


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Childcareparks

Just Posted

The Sparwood Golf Club received $1,206.12 for a lighting project as part of its wider renewal efforts. (Image contributed by Columbia Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies)
CFKR allocates over $11,000 to Elk Valley community programs

Over $50,000 was dished out between the communities of the Kootenay Rockies

RDEK is calling for nominations for their Volunteer of the Year award in all six electoral districts.
RDEK posts operating surplus as pandemic reduces costs

The RDEK has posted a operational surplus of $8 million as local… Continue reading

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

Fernie Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner has committed to two more years with the team. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press
Fernie Ghostriders coach departs: Wagner moves to Coquitlam

Jeff Wagner will move to the Lower Mainland as associate coach and director of scouting with the Coquitlam Express

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

Conservation Service Officer Kyle Bueckert holds a gold eagle that was revived from acute rodent poisoning Monday, May 12. Photo: Submitted
‘Obviously, he’s a fighter’: Golden eagle, recovered from poisoning, back in Kootenay wild

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

Most Read