As the community of Squamish expands, it might be time to consider a new home for the area's rod and gun club, a neighbour of the facility says.
Built in the 1950s, the Squamish Valley Rod and Gun Club was originally on the outskirts of town, said Nelson Winterburn. Five decades later, the club finds itself near the heart of the community and adjacent to the District of Squamish's recreational facilities.
“The town has now expanded and moved and now surrounds [the club],” Winterburn said.
Not only has the community grown, but so too has the club's use, he added. The club provides an important service for training police and is a sporting activity enjoyed by many, Winterburn said.
He doesn't want to see it disappear, but as stated in his letter to municipal council, Winterburn said he would like the municipality to help the rod and gun club find a new location, beyond the geographic centre of Squamish's population.
There may be the potential for a land swap between the club and the district, he added, noting there's an empty area on the northeast side of the municipality's landfill.
The Squamish Valley Rod and Gun Club was formed in 1942 and has been on its 15-acre property for half a century, club president Mike Wallace said, noting there's a 30-acre safety buffer on the east side of the lot, which is used by the Ministry of Transportation.
Right now, the site is ideal for the club, Wallace said. It also fits in with the future vision of the Squamish Nordic Legacy Park. The abutting project, which is backed by cash from the Sport Legacy Fund, is slated to provide summertime ski jumping, Nordic skiing and biathlon training.
There's always the fear that the club and its 500 members will get squeezed out of town, Wallace said.
“If somebody finds some amount of property and around $600,000 to move it, we might consider it,” he said.
The district is currently drafting its Parks and Recreation Master Plan that will guide Squamish's parks and recreation facilities' growth over the next 20 years.
In its draft form, the document does not recommend a move for the rod and gun club. The plan will be available on the municipality's website — www.squamish.ca — from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15 for online comment.