Recently, a Kamloops group started promoting building a permanent public market in Riverside Park, specifically in the Heritage House parking lot. Proposed is a large entity that is, hopefully, to be managed as a co-op (a commercial enterprise/for-profit).
I'm writing to give a little personal history of Riverside Park and why placing a commercial enterprise is completely anathema to Riverside Park.
Riverside Park was a gift to us and was to be a legacy for our children and our grandchildren. Generations of city administration, city workers and community recreation commission members have cared for and enhanced what once was a much smaller "park." It has grown into a haven for Kamloops families and visitors alike to enjoy in wonder and peace.
When I have summer guests, they love either making their own sandwiches, etc. or picking them up at a local deli. We then walk the few blocks down to the park, spread our blankets on the grass and picnic amidst the lovely old trees and shrubbery while watching the wild birds careening over the river.
All of us, local or otherwise, think of Riverside Park as a getaway! From what you may ask? The noise of commercialized space surrounding us. For no matter how much we may love our downtown, uptown or North Shore, they are spaces of activity: buying and selling complete with the hustle and bustle that comes with it.
Our city has many faces — from home to shops and malls, schools and universities, etc.; they all give us a multitude of choices to meet and do our work and chores. Riverside Park, however, gives a space to recover our relative silence — a space where green and water, benches and footpaths all serve us quietly. There we have a place for all things to recover, to regenerate without a visit to the doctor. There we can sit quietly with our picnic, a book or a friend while enjoying a brief time of serenity.
— Jennie Stadnichuk, Kamloops