A local resident who objected to a plan to add a campground to Christina Lake Provincial Park says he’s pleased the idea has been abandoned.
“Myself and the other people who were opposed to it, which was 80 per cent of those who completed the government survey, are of course very happy this isn’t going ahead,” says resident Roland Krueger. “[We’re] relieved we finally have some confirmation.”
Last week BC Parks announced it would not push ahead with a 25-site campground. In a statement posted on their website, they said an analysis of 2022 attendance data “reinforced concerns” expressed in the survey that using up to half of the parking spaces for camp sites would limit public beach and lake access during peak summer periods.
“Day-use access is an important feature of this park, and the proposal was not compatible with that,” BC Parks wrote, adding that feedback through their survey “emphasized the importance of managing the park to support lake-orientated day use opportunities.”
The six-hectare park at Christina Lake is currently a day use park. BC Parks noted that the Texas Creek Campground in nearby Gladstone Park has 62 sites that operate at close to full capacity over the summer.
The proposed new campground was to be part of a $21.5 million provincial investment in additional campsites for areas with high demand. The plan called for two existing parking lots to be turned into 17 full-service campsites and another eight walk-in tenting sites.
However, Krueger said, the community responded with “an uproar.” He and others mobilized to fight the proposal. When a Facebook group proved unsuccessful, they changed strategies and started putting flyers under windshields in the parking lot, directing people to their website and the government survey.
“We discovered a lot of users BC Parks didn’t know about and we didn’t know about either,” he said.
Krueger said those who are in the parking lot by 1 p.m. are mainly people just driving by on Highway 3 who want to take a break. They walk around, use the washrooms, admire the lake, walk their dogs, have a picnic and leave. But by 4 p.m. there is a 90 per cent turnover when the locals or vacationers arrive.
Survey results released in November showed 79.5 per cent respondents opposed to the campground.
Krueger said he thought something was up when a sign announcing the campground was removed from the park. While his inquiries to BC Parks went unanswered, the announcement came a couple of days later that the project was not going ahead.
“They really had no choice given the survey results and the fact they’ve uncovered users who are not just locals,” Krueger said.
Krueger said he is optimistic BC Parks will still proceed with enhancements to the park, such as replacing the washroom building and adding more picnic tables and signage to enhance the park’s enjoyability for day use.