Letter to the Editor – Walter Volovsek

I fully support the concept of ecosystem preservation in Castlegar Millennium Park, and the efforts of volunteers there.

Keep it natural

I fully support the concept of ecosystem preservation in Castlegar Millennium Park, and the efforts of volunteers to highlight the natural history of the common camasthere. At the same time I feel compelled to point out that there is very little in the park that has not been subjected to previous degradations. Widespread gravelextraction in the 1950s was followed by dumping of municipal waste, and more recently, by the mass re-contouring of the landscape for the ponds, the off-leash dogarea, ball fields, parking lots, etc. There are very few places in the park where we could imagine camas meadows that had remained undisturbed for millennia.

That is not to say we lack such places. People using the network of our walking trails along and above our river valleys will meet the friendly lily along them. One of thenicest camas beds, at some distance from the river, can be found along Sentinel Slog trail. The lower reaches of Brilliant Overlook Trail have some wonderful wildflowerbeds, which include a rarer plant, the Clarkia. I hope that, in their zeal to repopulate the degraded areas in the park, the volunteers will not rob the localities where theplants have grown undisturbed for centuries.

Millennium Park attracts me less and less, as I too miss the more natural places. Or places designed for contemplation and uplifting of the spirit. The walkway is still anice place for a stroll to Zuckerberg Island, whose relatively unspoiled magnificence entices me to linger and lose myself in thought.

Walter Volovsek, Castlegar