Naramata’s Centre Beach Preservation
The Naramata Slow Community Group’s fundraising campaign to preserve Centre Beach for the community and generations to come hit an impressive milestone this weekend by raising 90% of the $850,000. There is incredible momentum and community support to close the gap on the funds needed to save their beloved beach from being sold as private property by the October 31st deadline.
Naramata’s community spirit is a powerful illustration of the difference a village can make when they come together. Naramata Slow launched the Green Ribbon campaign two weeks ago and has caught on with the village’s doors dawning the green ribbons, as neighbors encouraging others to paint their street green, and bench wineries are challenging each other to donate tasting fees.
The kids of Naramata are having a positive impact on their community and making them proud. Giulia Flaherty (aged 7) has pledged $10 and challenged other Naramata kids to follow her lead, Yvonne Hayden (aged 10) ran up Gulch Road 10 times on Sunday. Other kids are contributing by collecting bottles. Former Naramata May Queens have donated and are challenging the 95 past Naramata May Day Queens and Royalty to do the same.
Most of the donations that have come in since the community group launched the crowd funding campaign have been small with $250k in 13 days made predominantly by individuals. Donations have come in from far and wide from Naramatians rallying their connections (one as far away as Turkey), from past residents and visitors, and those who have a special connection to the Centre.
Since the 1940’s Naramata’s Centre Beach has provided a peaceful slice of lakefront paradise anchored in the heart of Naramata Village for residents and visitors alike. With an inviting sandy beach, stunning lakeshore vistas and mature trees, Centre Beach has played host to countless iconic Naramata memories. The beloved space that means so much to so many is in jeopardy of becoming private property.
The Naramata Slow Community Group has been working with “Area E”, Regional District of Okanagan and Similkameen (RDOS) representative, Karla Kozakevich and current land owner, the Naramata Centre Society to structure an agreement to keep Centre Beach in its present state. The beach is comprised of three parts – a north parcel, a south parcel, and a Ministry of Transportation Right of Way. The Naramata Centre has offered citizens the opportunity to take public ownership of the north parcel – a significant portion of Centre Beach – by offering a special price, favourable terms and guaranteed first access to the south parcel and Right of Way. If Naramata Slow is able to raise $850k by October 31, the RDOS will be able to access the balance of required funds through a municipal borrowing program.
Easy public access to Naramata’s natural beauty greatly impacts both people and businesses from near and far. Green space is good for business. It’s good for health and wellness. And it’s good for the community. This is a can’t-miss opportunity to preserve and protect Centre Beach for the benefit of future generations, just as the dedication of Manitou Park years ago continues to benefit residents and visitors then and now.
Donations can be made here and every contribution over $20 will receive a tax receipt.
Media release and images provided by Krista Lochhead, Colley Communications.