Lavington resident Dave Pope chained himself to a tree in the park across from the local elementary school Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in protest against use of park space for the construction of a child care facility. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)                                Lavington resident Dave Pope chained himself to a tree in the park across from the local elementary school Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in protest against use of park space for the construction of a child care facility. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Lavington resident Dave Pope chained himself to a tree in the park across from the local elementary school Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in protest against use of park space for the construction of a child care facility. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star) Lavington resident Dave Pope chained himself to a tree in the park across from the local elementary school Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in protest against use of park space for the construction of a child care facility. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

As crews cleared space in Lavington Centennial Park to prepare for the construction of a new child care facility, one resident demonstrated his opposition to the project’s location.

“I don’t believe the district should be taking a chunk of green space to put in a commercial business,” said Dave Pope, who chained himself to a tree in the northeast corner of the park Thursday, Aug. 6.

“I see the need for a daycare, I just don’t see the need to put it in a public green space that was donated to the district by the community residents of Lavington to be a park.”

The child care centre will be operated by Maven Lane and comes with support from the Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund, in partnership with the District of Coldstream. The centre is planned to open in December, providing 32 child care spaces including 12 spaces for infants and toddlers, eight spaces for children ages 3-5 and 12 spaces for children up to the age of 12.

Coldstream’s chief administrative officer Trevor Seibel was present at the park and spoke to Pope as crews worked in the background.

“This project has taken a great deal of care and attention to minimize the footprint in the park,” Seibel said, adding the public’s use of the park won’t change with the arrival of the new centre.

READ MORE: Lavington child care centre expected to open in December

“When council considered the locations this was the one that was the quickest and easiest, and it made the most sense because you’re bringing children to a park,” Seibel said of the location across from Lavington Elementary School.

The process of creating the new facility started after Lavington residents expressed concern to Coldstream council about a lack of child care spaces available in the region, around the time the B.C. government started offering the New Spaces Fund. That grant amounted to $636,800 from the province, the district announced in late April.

In June, a petition was started in opposition to building the facility in the park, which has since garnered more than 800 signatures.

“If this goes through, we get to look at a building in our park, see an increase in traffic on our already busy streets and have a government decide on our behalf that they can take away our greenspace/parks without discussion about the land,” the petition reads.

Three trees were removed to make room for the building’s foundation, but Seibel said those trees had been found to be dead or otherwise in need of future removal.

“Whether the child care facility was going to be here or not, those trees were going to have to come out anyway.”

As part of the building agreement, Seibel said Maven Lane will pay a lease fee to the municipality which will be reinvested into the park.

READ MORE: Petition says ‘no’ to new Lavington daycare


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Childcareparks

Just Posted

President of the Tahltan Central Government, Chad Norman Day, surveys Tahltan territory by helicopter in this July 2019 handout photo. The Tahltan Nation and the British Columbia government have struck what officials say is a historic agreement for shared decision-making for the nation’s territory in northwestern B.C., a hot spot for mineral exploration. Day says the deal shows they are “getting closer and closer to a true nation-to-nation relationship.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Tahltan Central Government
Tahltan Nation, B.C. government sign agreement for shared decision-making

Deal commits the province and the northwest B.C. nation to developing a land-use plan

Tahltan First Nation wildlife guardian, Jarett Quock, above and below right, was awarded the Outstanding Individual Leadership Award by the Indigenous Leadership Initiative on June 3. (Photos courtesy Adam Amir)
Tahltan wildlife guardian receives outstanding leadership award

Jarett Quock’s contributions were recognised by the Indigenous Leadership Initiative

Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley addresses Parliament on June 7, in call for the federal government to stop fighting Indigenous children in court and to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action. (Image: supplied from Facebook)
NDP motion calling for immediate reconciliation action passes

Skeena-Bulkley MP Taylor Bachrach addresses federal Parliament

The farmhouse in Glentanna where the founding meeting of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union took place on April 14, 1941. (BV Museum archive)
Bulkley Valley Credit Union announces finalists for legacy project donation

Community can vote for one of the three finalists from each area

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the two patients, a man and a woman likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

Most Read