The 2004 Greater Vernon Parks and Recreation Master Plan identified the acquisition of 40 hectares (100 acres) of land for a new Destination Park in North Vernon as the top priority in order to meet current deficiencies and future needs.
The Foothills Knoll Park Master Plan (extracted from the 2015 Parks Master Plan) offers a vague, non-commital "plan" for the future consideration of a sub-regional park on the Foothills Knoll.
Section 7.1 of the Foothills Neighborhood Plan 2013 offers similar non-commital support for the Foothills Knoll Park: "... Support the establishment of a park at the top of the hill as illustrated in Map 7. This park is intended to be created through parkland dedication required at development and, if possible, purchase of required lands. Other methods for parkland acquisition, such as land trusts, may be supported. The exact size and configuration of the park will be determined once a commitment to purchase the lands is made."
Though almost 15 years have passed since the Master Plan was adopted, this top priority park has not yet materialized. So establishing a large park on Foothills Knoll will finally achieve this vision!
The Foothills Community Association has been fighting the good fight for a number of years. Here is an October 2017 presentation to the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.
Parkland acquisition is a difficult business, as all the stars have to align with respect to suitable lands being available for purchase, having cash reserves to purchase the property, and the political will to take action. With that said, we as a community have an obligation to ensure that parkland is preserved for future generations to enjoy. If we fail in this important task, we have reneged on our duty to our descendants.
It is of utmost importance that the City of Vernon work with all stakeholders to come up with a plan for the Foothills Knoll Park that will serve the needs of current and future generations; a plan that we can all be proud of!