A few months back I featured one of Penticton’s “unexpected trails.” I was so delighted to find that one of Penticton’s hidden wilderness treasures in the middle of the city had been made accessible for all citizens. A lovely new path was built alongside the bit of woods and creek. Then a chain link fence was later put up between the trail and the wooded area. That was a bit disappointing, but it was still easy to see and enjoy the woods from the path, and it was still accessible even for wheelchairs or walkers. This was wonderful, because there are many seniors complexes in the area.
But then a couple of weeks ago, I went back to enjoy the trail – and discovered a tragedy. The beginning and end of the trail are gated – and strong locks are placed on the gates. It is still possible to access a bit of the woods from the nearby park, but one soon runs into the locked gate. The only way to enjoy the rest of the wooded area is to walk along the creek bed – when it is dry, that is. Even then, one has to be agile. So much for access for our seniors and for others who have mobility issues.
Apparently the lovely new path is actually on the grounds of the new deluxe condo tower next to the woods. And it would appear that the condo owners probably don’t like the idea of non-condo-owners using their lovely path. Ironically, with the big padlocks and gates, they don’t get to use the path themselves either. A lot of effort, and no doubt money, has gone into providing this beautiful pathway through the woods – and now no one can use it. I suppose the condo owners are within their “rights” to prevent “trespassing” on their property. I suppose, too, that some folks who can afford to live in such a lovely complex don’t really want your average pedestrian riff-raff too close to their lovely tower homes. Again, they are within their “rights.” Seems kind of sad, though.
Today’s slide show takes you on a walk through the woods – and gives you a peek at this decision to lock up nature. We take you along the pathway that is still accessible, bump you into the locked gate, give you a peek down the path (photo taken through the chain link fence), then along the alternate trail (the creek bed), up to the other locked gate at the far end, a view down the locked-off trail from that end, and then a view of the steep sandy slope up to the sidewalk. What do you think about locking up nature?