The Elk Valley Regional park near Elkford. (Image courtesy of RDEK)

RDEK seeks public input on Elk Valley Regional Park plan

The park is located between Elkford and Sparwood

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is seeking comment on the draft Elk Valley Regional Park management plan, which is open for public comment for the next month.

The plan is available on the RDEK website at engage.rdek.bc.ca/elkvalleypark.

“We are currently working on a management plan for the Elk Valley Regional Park, which is intended to provide strategic direction and guidance for the RDEK, community associations and stewards of the park for the next 15-20 years,” said RDEK Planner Michele Bates.

The purpose of the Elk Valley Regional Park, located between Elkford and Sparwood, is to provide seasonal day use recreational facilities for the community. It’s a 22 hectare park with various amenities such as picnic shelters and tables, sports fields, a hiking train, restrooms, an information kiosk and more.

The plan identifies a few maintenance issues for the park, noting that its relatively isolated location means the majority of park users can only get there by car.

“The desire for additional infrastructure and facilities needs to be balanced against anticipated usage and required maintenance and infrastructure costs,” reads the plan.

“The ongoing maintenance of current infrastructure will be a priority for management at the park. In addition, the need for ongoing clearing of dead-fall and removal of fire hazards is important in order to minimize the risk of interface fire hazard.”

According to the plan, the entire park is noted to be a high wildfire hazard area.

To help gather resident feedback on plans for the park going forward, comments are being taken on the draft Management Plan until 4:30pm on August 9.

“Having the input from park users and area residents is an important part of the process, so we are encouraging everyone to check out the project page, review the draft Plan and let us know what you think,” said Bates.

According to the draft plan, the RDEK didn’t foresee any potential improvements needed to the park, but said that should the community or a stewardship group desire improvements they could do some of their own fundraising or request inclusion for the improvement in the financial plan for the Regional Parks service area.

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scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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