Better late than never: improvements to Youbou’s Mile 77 Park celebrated

Area I director Klaus Kuhn, developer Greg Adams, and Cowichan Lake Community Forest Cooperative board members Richard Weir, Lorne Scheffer and Ross Forrest stand in the “new” picnic shelter at Mile 77 Park in Youbou, funded by Adams. The Forest Cooperative donated money to help improve the waterfront at the park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)Area I director Klaus Kuhn, developer Greg Adams, and Cowichan Lake Community Forest Cooperative board members Richard Weir, Lorne Scheffer and Ross Forrest stand in the “new” picnic shelter at Mile 77 Park in Youbou, funded by Adams. The Forest Cooperative donated money to help improve the waterfront at the park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)
A plaque on the picnic shelter at Mile 77 Park thanks Greg and Judy Adams for providing funds to build the structure. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)A plaque on the picnic shelter at Mile 77 Park thanks Greg and Judy Adams for providing funds to build the structure. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)
Cowichan Lake Community Forest Cooperative chair Lorne Scheffer strolls down to the waterfront at Mile 77 Park in Youbou. The Forest Cooperative donated money to help improve the waterfront at the park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)Cowichan Lake Community Forest Cooperative chair Lorne Scheffer strolls down to the waterfront at Mile 77 Park in Youbou. The Forest Cooperative donated money to help improve the waterfront at the park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)

The picnic shelter at Mile 77 Park in Youbou is about two years old already, but it hasn’t aged at all.

The structure looked as good as new on Thursday, Sept. 2, when it was finally dedicated — about two years later than CVRD Area I director Klaus Kuhn would have liked.

Kuhn showed off the picnic shelter and other improvements to the park as he thanked the folks who funded them, sparing taxpayers the expenses, as he pointed out proudly.

The picnic shelter was funded by Greg and Judy Adams, the developers of Laketown Ranch and many other projects in the Cowichan Valley, while the financial support for the lakefront areas of the park came from the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Cooperative.

“We needed this shelter because this is a beautiful park, but there is no shade,” Kuhn said. “It’s no fun eating at the tables in the hot sun. Greg and I had a talk after Laketown Ranch was installed, and he said he’d like to do something for the community. I had a talk with the parks commission, and this is what we came up with.

“The park is perfect; it’s in a beautiful location. It had washrooms, but it didn’t have shade.”

Adams credited Greca construction and Mark Mitchell and Ken Stanton for the solid structure.

“We’ve all been here a long time,” he said to the group gathered for the dedication. “And we’ve tried to do the right thing by the community, and it’s getting better every year.”

Since the picnic shelter was built, more improvements have been done in the lakefront area of the park, where gravel trails lead down to the water, instead of the overgrown “goat paths” that previously provided limited access.

“If we want to dedicate this as a lakeshore park, there has got to be access to the water,” Kuhn said.

Cowichan Lake Community Forest Cooperative chair Lorne Scheffer lives near the park, and he said he was pleased to help improve the park and add something to the growing neighbourhood.

“We knew Greg’s events were bringing lots of people to the area with no waterfront for them to use,” Scheffer said. “The board was moved when Greg was the first to put money into the park. If a developer can put money into it, why can’t the community?”

Lake Cowichan