In a little under two months, a field of grass and dirt in the Westbank Centre park will be transformed into a children’s spray park.
Monday marked the official start of construction for the marathon project that was started in 2007 by the Westbank Rotary Club.
Marjolein Lloyd, past president of the club, said it was the largest single project the club had ever taken on.
“We have faced many obstacles since the project was initiated in fall 2007, but we are thrilled to be moving forward and are excited to begin the construction phase,” she said. “It will provide families with countless hours of fun and will be a great way to beat the summer heat.”
The Rotary Club raised almost $249,000 to make the park happen. Not bad considering it has fewer than 35 members. Think back to all the fundraisers: If you bought a raffle for Poop for the Park in 2008, bought a ticket to Taste of Westbank, bought a Rotary wine barrel or donated to Kids Care—then you too made it happen.
Fundraising was aided in part by the West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club, in particular two members who donated time to engineer and lead the construction project. The District of West Kelowna kicked in more than $70,000 of taxpayer money as well.
The Westbank First Nation also contributed.
It was originally hoped to have the park—which joins the dog park, community garden and spirit square on May Street—opened this summer, but will most likely not open until September. It will feature a flower-shaped pad with approximately 20 spray features all designed and installed by Kelowna’s Waterplay Solutions Corp.
West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater noted the project began before the district was even formed.
“I am really pleased to do this as a mayor, as someone who is a resident in the community and as a grandfather of three little kids,” Findlater said in kicking off the ceremony.
“It’s something that I know our family will enjoy.”