One of the proposals coming up before Council concerns a Kid’s Splash Playground. If you’re unfamiliar with these things, you can think of it as a very shallow concrete pool with all sorts of water canons and water jets for young children to play with. It’s not for adults or teenagers. Speaking with young parents, they tell me that their little people go crazy when they hear they’re heading to the splash park in Westbank.
- Children’s activities are a great draw to Beach Avenue. If we’re not about bringing families to our town to enjoy a day at the lake, then what are we here for?
- It can be tough for parents to keep the wee-folk entertained, and an attraction like this could be prove to be pretty popular in the summer months.
- When people become accustomed to coming downtown for an attraction, they’re inclined to come back for other things, too.
- We expect it to be a fun attraction, but we also hope it’ll bring more business to the community.
- The downside to these parks is that they’re expensive to build and require quite a lot of maintenance versus something like, (let’s just say), a kid’s playground or a volleyball court.
- It’s not something you charge for, such as the privately-owned Wibit bouncy-lake-playground.
- Issues or leaks in the water pipes & pumps running beneath the pool will happen eventually, the surface will need to be re-painted, the safety features maintained, etc.
- There would have to be some element of supervision and an employee to turn the pumps off and on every day, clean up the spilled food and algae, (perhaps the occasional poop), perform basic maintenance, etc.
- Perhaps the biggest downside is that this kind of attraction is only good for a few months of the year. Outside of bathing suit weather, there’s really nothing else that it can be used for.
MY THOUGHTS - Please give me yours!
These are just my thoughts. I’ll list them in point form, so it’s easier for you to address or disagree with them. I want to know what you think. This is a matter that Council will be deciding upon in the future.
1. Our summer months are already busy and successful. Perhaps we should aspire to creating attractions that would extend our busy season?
2. For the kids, we have Swim Bay, Wibit and the ultimate water park… Lake Okanagan! Expanding or improving these attractions might be a better investment, longer lasting, perhaps better-suited to the natural beauty of our surroundings.
3. At the end of the day, I wonder if the simple attractions are just as enjoyable? I remember splash parks when I was a kid, but it didn’t take me very long to go back to chasing bugs and eating dirt. Parents, I need your opinion on this!
4. Would there be a benefit to focusing the children’s attractions where they are currently, (at the North end of town and Swim Bay), and perhaps develop features at Heritage Park that are more appealing to the age of majority? We like kids a lot, but we have way more folks running around these parts who aren’t kids anymore.
5. I’m not certain that a splash park will bring Peachland a great bang for the buck.
6. How many toys and “things” can we install on Beach Avenue before it becomes tacky.
Please let me know what you think!
UPDATE April 10, 2019
I’ve spoken with a lot of people about this! Overwhelmingly, people think it’s a lot of money to spend on something that can only be used a few months of the year by a very small segment of the population. Folks have also said:
- it’s horribly expensive,
- demands a lot of maintenance,
- the lake is the main attraction,
- Swim Bay & WiBit entertain the kids pretty well,
Get your opinions in here! At this point, I’d have no other choice but to vote against this. I’ve found one couple who said their kids go absolutely wild at the splash park, but this couple also said that Westbank is pretty close for those special occasions when they like to take the kids, and they wouldn’t be too disappointed if Peachland goes a different direction.