Decision on future use of former McArthur Island golf course nears

KAMLOOPS — It won’t be long before Kamloops city council decides on the future use of the former golf property at McArthur Island.

In May, city staff brought forward a recommendation to engage the two main user groups interested in the space — the Kamloops Naturalist Club and the Kamloops Disc Golf Club — to try to find out if the two organizations can possibly co-exist.

Fast forward to today, and that sounds doubtful.

Jesse Ritcey, director with the Kamloops Naturalist Club, says after many hours of meetings and lots of research, his club believes there’s “an incompatibility here.”

“Really what it comes down to is one of the groups is going to have to relocate their vision. So for instance, we wouldn’t be going out there doing nature education,” he says.

“We’d really be looking and needing another home for all of this activity, just because of the safety issue with noise pollution, with damage to the environment from having a sports use in the space. So, I’m not sure where we’d find an alternative space for a new nature park, but it’d be really something we’d be looking for.”

He says the city report, which will come before council some time in October, will consist of two options: a mixed-use proposal which would consist of a park and a disc golf course, and another option which would feature just an interpretive nature park.

Ritcey says parks staff are suggesting council goes with the multi-use option but adds that doesn’t mean council will ultimately choose it.

Ben Laidlaw, president of the Kamloops Disc Golf Club, thinks the multi-use option would work and allow both user groups to happily co-exist.

“I really hope so. The Naturalist Club has a different vision in mind than what the city is proposing. But the Kamloops Disc Golf Club fully supports the City of Kamloops proposal.”

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