We live in one of the most beautiful areas in this region and I am in favor of a waterfront trail along the Columbia River.
I don’t feel however, it needs to encroach on private property. All of the city waterfront trails I have experienced have existed on city-owned land.
I am one of the waterfront property owners and I feel blessed at the tranquility that the river provides to my space — one of the reasons I chose to live here, and I don’t want to lose it.
I feel that we could utilize the trails that already exist and build from there.
For example: Although I have not looked at a topographical map of Castlegar I would suggest the following: build a bridge from Zuckerberg Island to Selkirk College. Build on the paths already used along the river there along with fishing locations and viewpoints; then cross the Kinnaird bridge and allow a path to continue somewhere along this route to the already existing paths to Blueberry. (If this is the route the community wants to take.)
Yes, it will cost money, as change and improvements always do but I do not think we need to be afraid of it. It will only build equity and pride in our community and it does not have to be done all at once.
I am drawn to the tranquility and the serenity that the river provides and feel it is one of the best assets of Castlegar and one that has the opportunity to be the pride of our community; and should not be overlooked.
Besides this riverfront trail, residents should also be asking themselves, “Where do their visions of the future of this community lie?”
Where would they like to see Castlegar in one year? Five or 10 years? What type of community do they want for themselves, their children, grandchildren? We have so much opportunity to build around this asset, it really does not deserve to be overlooked.
I envision Castlegar to be a community of wellness. Could you envision the downtown core to be open only to foot traffic?
The secondary road could go by Mitchells building store and the back side of the city hall. We could then have the Art Walk meet along with the Art gallery/station museum, restaurants with open patios and music, tapas bars and wine, craft breweries and cafes that are open until late, and seven days a week.
We could have residential suites available for students, etc., above the shops. City-sponsored bike rentals for visitors and locals to explore the beauty of Castlegar and area, access to the Millennium Park and the ponds including river activities such as paddle-boarding, kayaking, etc. We might even enhance our job bank for our students, grandchildren and retirees.
Where do you envision the future of Castlegar?