Baseballs to be caught by netting

The chances of gardeners, hikers, and dogs getting hit by home runs should diminish this year at the Mission recreation park ball diamonds.

The city plans to spend $110,000 stringing up new protective netting around the four diamonds, according to the 2019 provisional budget.

“Due to advances in sport technologies and athletic performance, there has been an increased frequency of balls being hit out of the park into the surrounding amenities,” reads part of the 544-page budget document.

Other uses near to the four ball diamonds include a community garden, the Mission Creek Greenway, and a dog park.

A total of $9.5 million in spending on capital projects at Kelowna parks is planned for next year, subject to city council approval during budget deliberations this Thursday.

The single larges undertaking is the spending of $4.2 million to buy new parkland. Of that, nearly $4 million comes from fees paid by developers, and the rest is from taxation.

Also on the books for next year is $3.3 million for the next phase of development of the long-sought Glenmore recreation park. The city has acknowledged Glenmore is badly underserved in terms of recreational amenities compared to other areas of Kelowna.

Some site preparation work was done last year and the plan for 2019 is the addition of two multi-use grass sports fields, footpaths, parking, and an access road. The land was excluded from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Other capital parks plans for next year include $500,000 to expand Strathcona Park north along the waterfront to Royal Avenue, $250,000 to improve access along the Paul’s Tomb Trail in Knox Mountain Park, and $300,000 to add a playground and lawn to Barlee Park.