A few points should be made regarding Ruth Altendorf’s article in the July 22 edition of the Observer. Firstly, bold and visionary does not necessarily mean bigger and better. Secondly, there can be more that one way to envision the future of a project or area.
The Harrison Festival of the Arts is a case in point. For several years now the Festival has been running at capacity and has not, in fact, grown significantly. Phyllis and Ed and the others that work for the Festival have been striving to enrich the experience of Festival patrons with new and varied presentations while recognizing that overcrowding Harrison would diminish that experience.
We all need to recognize that human endeavors are now running up against environmental limitations. Fishing stocks the world over are collapsing because those who envisioned and developed bigger and more sophisticated fishing fleets failed to consider the needs of fish. This has meant that human needs are compromised as global marine fish catches for human consumption peaked in the 1980s.
Locally, we should recognize that Harrison Hot Springs is in a unique position to save the last significant forested land on the floor of the eastern Fraser Valley. Friends of the East Sector is working toward the day when all lands within Harrison Hot Springs, east of McCombs Drive, are protected as a natural park. Our bold vision is that the area will be left in its natural state, protecting the habitat for the many birds, mammals, herptiles (snakes, frogs, salamanders etc.), fish and other animals and plants that live there. At the same time human needs for interaction with nature, for serenity, and for quiet contemplation will be met. We also recognize that nature provides us with flood protection, air pollution abatement, pollinators and clean water. So it is not that we are timid or afraid but rather that we have a different, but nonetheless, bold vision for the future of Harrison Hot Springs and for the east sector in particular.
Lillian Martin for Friends of the East Sector