Lavington man chains himself to tree to halt park development

Protester chains self to tree

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

As soon as David Pope heard construction was beginning for the new child care facility at Lavington's Centennial Park, he grabbed his lock and chain and made his way over.

He then chained himself to a small tree near the fence, approximately 30 feet or so from the ongoing construction.

"Without proper public consultation, the District of Coldstream is taking a chunk out of the park for a commercial business," says Pope. "The land has changed hands a few times of the years and it was gifted to the district, but they never consulted anyone before going forward with this."

The new child care facility will be a partnership between Coldstream and Maven Lane that will create 32 new spaces, aided by a $637,800 grant from the BC government as part of the province's New Spaces Fund. The facility is expected to be in operation in December.

There are a number of Lavington citizens that are up in arms about the day care's location. A petition was started earlier this year in opposition of the park, which now has over 800 signatures.

"I want to be clear, I am not against having another child care centre in the area," says Pope. "I just don't feel that it should be in our park."

Security and city staff were on site to hear the voices of the citizens that were in the park, as well as making sure the people were safe when the construction was happening.

"We're here to make sure Mr. Pope is alright, and to answer any questions he may have," says Trevor Seibel, Chief Administrative Officer for the District of Coldstream. "When people have concerns they want to have their voice heard, so we will let the other elected officials know what transpired here and what concerns were raised."

Despite the petition and tree-chaining, the project has broken ground and is moving ahead as scheduled.

"We formally received the petition this morning, and we will put that in front of council at the next meeting," says Seibel. "In terms of the project, we've gone through a public procurement process and awarded a contract so it is moving forward."

Three trees were removed in the section where the construction is taking place, but Seibel says the trees were either dead or were going to be removed in the near future regardless if the project was proceeding.

ORIGINAL: 2:10 p.m.

A man has chained himself to a tree in Lavington's Centennial Park to protest development of a new child-care facility that will take land out of the park.

David Pope showed his opposition to the new development by tethering himself to a tree in the park for about five hours, Thursday, while construction carried on a short distance away.

"I am not opposed to a new day care, I just don't think it should be in this park," he says. "I don't want to see these trees and green spaces go away – and a lot of people agree with me."

More to come.

More Vernon News

Recent Trending



Send us your News Tips!


Vernon SPCA Featured Pet

Novak Vernon SPCA >


Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada