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

2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Angie Mindus photos - Williams Lake Tribune)
PHOTOS: Graduates line Western Avenue for 2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade

Community members waited in line in their vehicles to congratulate grads

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Placing hope for the future in our children and their children

I am trying to be sure to include that focus as part of an evolving work/life balance

Graduate Belle Riding is congratulated by Lake City Secondary School learning support teacher Gail Gardner as she makes her way across the stage to receive her diploma. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
2021 Lake City Secondary School grads take centre stage at Williams Lake campus ceremonies

Ceremonies took place over two days, with COVID-19 restrictions in place for second year in a row

BGC Williams Lake Sprockids participants get ready to hit the trails on Fox Mountain May 27 in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Sprockids mountain biking program at BGC Williams Lake provides positive, outdoor outlet for youth

Sprockids aims to give youth the opportunity to saddle up on mountain bikes and hit the trails

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

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

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read