A proposed playground in Castlegar could destroy camas, a local group says. Photo: Kootenay Native Plant Society

Petition asks City of Castlegar not to build playground in camas-sensitive area

The city plans to build the playground at Millennium Park

Castlegar resident Valerie Huff has started an online petition asking the city not to construct a playground in a camas-sensitive area at Millennium Park.

According to the Kootenay Native Plant Society, camas is a rare plant found in low-lying areas of southern British Columbia and has been a staple food for First Nations for millennia.

The petition said the proposed playground would “destroy countless numbers of camas” and the city should build the playground in a different location.

“I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the generations of Sinixt women and families who, through their diligent and careful cultivation of their staple root food, ensured there would be camas here for us to enjoy and learn from,” said Huff in the petition.

“We owe it to them and their future generations to keep the camas safe and to help the plants thrive.”

In a statement, the city said it can’t comment on the proposed playground until it has a better sense of what the project will look like in July.

The city established a conservation area for camas in the park in 2015. A year later, camas from the park’s volleyball courts were pulled and put in the conservation area.

More than 550 people have signed the petition so far.

READ MORE: Castlegar students plant camas bulbs in Millennium Park conservation area


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