The new park is on the west bank of the Elk River in Fernie, and preserves natural forest in a 10-acre plot. (Photo credit: Ben Campbell / First Light Visual Media)

The new park is on the west bank of the Elk River in Fernie, and preserves natural forest in a 10-acre plot. (Photo credit: Ben Campbell / First Light Visual Media)

Riverbank park dedicated in Fernie

10 acres of forest on the west side of the river are now locked up in a park

Fernie has itself a brand new park, with the heavily forested slopes that face the Annex Park across the Elk River now locked up to preserve the land in its natural state in perpetuity.

The park – which is yet to be named – was dedicated by the owners of the land in late 2020, and will be managed by the City of Fernie.

Made up of 10 acres right next to the Burma Rd Estates on the west side of the Elk River, the owners of the land are the Shoesmith family, which acquired the land in the late 90s and developed the estates over four phases, with an eye to preserve the wildlife corridors between the Elk River and the foot of Mount Fernie.

Sightings of grizzly and black bears, moose, elk and other wildlife are common in the area.

“We are very proud of creating a river front parkland to be left in a natural state and protects the riparian zone,” said Chuck Shoesmith.

The park is yet to be formally given a name by the City of Fernie, but in the meantime is called the Elk River Park.

Works on the Burma Rd Estates have been continuing, with the last phase completed at the end of last month. The Shoesmith family have also recently completed the paving of almost a km of Burma Rd. Burma Rd, which is an alternate route around Fernie is now paved for roughly half of its length.

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scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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