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Chamber reinforces need for provincial park expansion

VERNON – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is urging the provincial government to be proactive and invest in the recreation, economy and ecology of the North Okanagan.
In a Sept. 3 letter to Environment Minister George Heyman, the Chamber requested an update on B.C. Parks potentially purchasing Chelsea Estate adjacent to Ellison Provincial Park.
“We understand limited budgets and competing priorities within the government and B.C. Parks. However, we want to reiterate that an expansion of Ellison Provincial Park would bolster tourism particularly as the sector has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Krystin Kempton, Greater Vernon Chamber president.
“There is also a tremendous opportunity to protect ecological and recreational values for future generations.”
The Greater Vernon Chamber is prepared to work with B.C. Parks and the ministry to identify potential public and private donors that can assist with this initiative.
“And while acquisition of the entire 234-acre Chelsea Estate is ideal to maximize the long-term benefits for the North Okanagan and province, we would ask that the government consider working with us to purchase at least a portion of the site immediately next to Ellison Provincial Park,” said Kempton.
Richard Rolke, Communications Coordinator    
Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce   
E:  P: 250.545.0771