South Okanagan MP shows support for preserving chunk of Kaleden land up for sale for development

Working to save key land

As the $3.1 million Sickle Point property sits for sale, Kaleden residents are racing to raise funds to purchase the approximately five acre lakefront land in hopes of preserving the ecology.

A group gathered at the location Sunday, including local MP Richard Cannings. 

“We’re hoping it’ll become a nature park,” said Kaleden resident Doreen Olson, who spearheads many of the fundraising events and informative gatherings. “We’re hoping to have some interpretative signs, maybe a rest spot … for people on the KVR, just to take a little deviation and take a look at the ecosystem.”

So far, the community has pledges of over $100,000, explained Olson, and although shy from the current price tag, “we feel 98 per cent positive that we are going to raise the funds.”

The area has long been a hot topic in the community. Accessed only by the KVR trail, the property - which is zoned residential - it had been purchased with the original intent to build five separate homes, but the property is now back up for sale by HM Commercial Group.

Although one portion of the land has been cleared, South Okanagan - West Kootenay MP and former biologist Richard Cannings believes the land will be able to bounce back in a matter of years if saved soon.

“This is such a valuable ecological site. Just to have a natural, flat piece of land on the lake over here … there’s nothing quite like it,” he said. “I think 80 per cent of the riparian (land) has been lost in the last 100 years (in the Okanagan). This is an opportunity we can’t let pass.”

As for building homes on the property, Cannings said he is unsure the land would be able to support one, let alone five.

“This is all floodplain,” he said, adding recent reports from the Okanagan Water Basin Board have shown the land to be underwater during flood times in the past.

Ecologist and Summerland resident Don Gayton said the area is home to the water birchrose and cat tail, two endangered plant species.

“The South Okanagan as a whole as the highest concentration of species at risk in the entire country, so little chunks like this are really important,” he said.

The Kaleden community has a website dedicated to raising awareness surrounding Sickle Point, and can be accessed here

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