A year ago, a new regional park in Krestova wasn’t on John Bullock’s or anyone’s radar. Today, a park that has opened at the southern end of the Slocan Valley fills him with joy.
“I am full of gratitude for our fundraising team, many volunteers, donations from small businesses, corporate support and hundreds of individuals and families,” says Bullock, who chaired the effort to raise money to buy the land for the property. “What a powerful illustration of community and local government working together. Together we accomplish great results.”
The Regional District of Central Kootenay announced the “soft opening” of the Krestova Regional Park on April 1. The 55-hectare park is located off Krestova Road in the Pass Creek area, and is the second-largest park in the regional government’s system.
The park was acquired last fall when the RDCK purchased the private land with the help of the Krestova Park Fundraising Committee. When the property came up for sale, the community group had just six weeks to meet a goal of raising $475,000 towards the $875,000 total cost. It was done through a combination of Community Development Grants and private donations.
“We are excited for the public to continue to access this park as an outdoor recreation area and a place for residents to enjoy the historic and cultural attributes of the property,” said Walter Popoff, RDCK Electoral Area H Director. “This day wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of the Krestova Park Fundraising Committee, who worked so hard to ensure we could create a community park.”
The park, while the newest, is also still very much bare-bones. There are as yet no designated parking, toilets, or interpretive and wayfinding signage. Park visitors must stay on existing roads and trails, which are still not routinely maintained. As well, because the park is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, motorized vehicles are not allowed.
But Bullock says it’s been a treasure of the Krestova community for years, and others will soon learn to appreciate.
“I believe individuals and families visiting this park for the first time will be astonished by its natural beauty. There are open walking trails, granite hills to climb and deep balkas/bowls to explore,” he said. “Krestova residents will now welcome all people who respect and cherish this land, now officially set aside as park land for generations to come.”
Over the next few years, officials will work with the community to plan what activities and amenities will be available at the park.
This is the 27th regional park in the Regional District of Central Kootenay, increasing the amount of RDCK parkland to a total of 580 hectares.