Recent History – 2005
By Gary Rusak, April 2005
A group of concerned citizens is moving forward with its plan to transform the heavy bush known as the Chamberlain Nature Park into an accessible and educational recreational asset for the community.
Dawson Creek Fire Chief Shorty Smith addressed the founding meeting of the Chamberlain Heritage and Nature Team (CHANT) at the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday evening about fire concerns surrounding the approximately 70-acre site. Smith suggested that fire access points for the area, located at
102nd Street west from 17th Avenue to the edge of town to 8th Street,
be set up at 102nd Street and 104th Street.
“It would be so that they would be able to protect the town from any
fire that was happening there,” said city councillor Marilyn Belak, a
founding member of the group. “That was one concern we were worrying
The group also discussed logistic concerns surrounding where to put a parking lot and signage for the new park. First among the priorities for the new group is to perform a detailed study of the area and decide upon a cohesive trail route. Some trails, made by recreational bikers and skateboarders, already exist
on the property. These trails will have to be standardized and, in some cases, levelled out or widened to make them ideal for walking.
“The first thing we are going to see is the site secured from motorized traffic,” said Belak. “The second thing we are going to see is the long-term plan for what the trail system will be like in there.”
The group’s prime purpose is to open up the area to the community as a whole.
“We will see us (improve) what has been established and decide what our new trail system will be there,” said Belak. “Eventually (our aim) is a wheelchair accessible link to the walking track so people in town can enjoy the forest.”
CHANT also stated its intention to preserve the park’s natural state and endeavour to design the trail system with as little impact on the ecology of the site as possible.
Next Monday, at the regular meeting of city council, the group will request a grant of $6,000 from the city for signage for the area. However, Belak said that she is not expecting the city to foot the bill for the whole project.
“We will look to partner,” she said.
Belak explained that after a comprehensive plan is developed, CHANT members would be approaching corporate sponsors to help out with the cost of the project.