More and more local organizations are stepping up to support saving lands surrounding Cottonwood Lake Regional Park, located 10 kilometers south of Nelson.
The park has been under siege for the past year from private owners logging lands around the pristine park. The private logging has forced the community to rally together to save the lands, which to many members of the region has more value left untouched than having timber removed.
“The French school, Ecole des Sentier-Alpins, is donating all of the proceeds from their annual student art exhibit and silent auction,” said Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society spokesperson, Andrew McBurney.
“(Ecole des Sentier-Alpins) choose a community-based organization each year. This year they chose the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society.”
McBurney said the CLPS have just entered into negotiations on the purchase of more land to further protect the recent investment made by the Regional District of Central Kootenay.
Earlier this year, the RDCK, with funds received from the Columbia Basin Trust, announced the agreement to purchase of a21.6 hectare parcel of land at Cottonwood Lake. The price tag is $450,000, with $200,000 coming from a CBT grant.
McBurney said the CLPS can’t quantify what that price might be for the remaining lands, but we will know soon and will make it known to the community.
“What is clear, is that Nelson and RDCK residents are going to be asked to help as donors, not as tax payers this time,” McBurney said.
“Feeling strongly and writing letters has helped, being passionate and doing advocacy has been critical, but now it will mean putting your own money on the line.”
McBurney said if Nelson and Area residents want to keep that pristine corridor above Cottonwood lake, and the expanded RDCK park, in its current condition, then the time for words is over and it’s time for cheques and cash.
“Soon we will announce our fundraising goals and strategy,” he said.
“Right now we encourage all our residents and guests to consider just how much they value that area. The only action remaining, to save these unique lands, is to commit to donations, and protect it for future generations.
The Ecole des Sentier-Alpins student art exhibit and silent auction is set for Thursday between 6-8 p.m. at the Nelson Rod and Gun Club at 801 Railway Street.