Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart (l) with the Hon. Rich Coleman (r) and BC Parks mascot Jerry the Moose at the reopening of Downing Provincial Park near Jesmond. The park has been closed since 2014.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart (l) with the Hon. Rich Coleman (r) and BC Parks mascot Jerry the Moose at the reopening of Downing Provincial Park near Jesmond. The park has been closed since 2014.

Downing Park once again open to public

The popular provincial park near Jesmond has been closed since 2014.

In the July 30, 2015 issue of The Journal, the “Golden Country” article looked at several local provincial parks. One of them was Downing Provincial Park, located south of Jesmond, with the article noting that it was closed to the public due to flooding caused by hydrology changes to nearby streams. The article continued, “When open, the park—which almost encircles Kelly Lake—is extremely popular due to its beautiful setting, and for the fishing, boating, and swimming in Kelly Lake.”

As of May 15, 2016, Downing Provincial Park is once again open to the public, although a boil water advisory is in effect until further notice, since upgrades to the water system are not planned for completion until 2017. A recent wildfire in the area means that visitors should watch out for washed out bridges or culverts, collapsed pavement, and other indications of debris flow, and should be aware that roads below steep banks are susceptible to landslides.

The park was officially reopened on Saturday, May 21, when several visitors and Clinton residents joined Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Mines; Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart; and representatives from BC Parks at Downing. The damp and cool weather did little to dampen the spirits of those there, who were pleased that the popular park is once again open to visitors just in time for the summer holiday season.