Residents of Blackpool should be getting a multi-use community park over the next few years.
Reactions from area residents to a proposed plan for the park presented during an open house at Blackpool Hall on Tuesday evening, Nov. 27 were overwhelmingly favorable.
‚ÄúThis park has been in the works since before my time,‚Äù said Tim Pennell, Thompson-Nicola Regional District director for Wells Gray Country (Area A). ‚ÄúIf we can get some grants, we can do it right away. Otherwise, we’re looking at a 10 year project.‚Äù
The plan would see the development of a square-shaped piece of land along Ferry Road east of the hall and adjacent to Thompson Crossing manufactured home development.
The park would feature a ‚Äúrock-and-ropes‚Äù play area for youngsters, said landscape architect Elise Menard Jonkers of L.A. West Associates.
Features would include a spiral slide and swing set.
A safety surface would help prevent injuries after falls.
‚ÄúIt would have more of a wilderness approach than a conventional play area,‚Äù the landscape architect said.
A post-and-beam picnic shelter similar to one recently constructed in the Birch Island community park would be located next to the play area, so mothers could stay out of the sun while keeping an eye on their kids.
A two-meter wide paved pathway roughly 250 m long would loop around the park’s perimeter.
A series of seven exercise stations along the pathway would help people get in shape.
A paved basketball court in one corner would provide healthy outdoor activities for teens and others.
There would be a gravelled parking lot with space for 26 vehicles. This would serve park users plus give needed overflow parking for the nearby Blackpool Hall. A large conifer would be left adjacent to the parking lot to serve as a community Christmas tree.
A large grassed area could be used for such activities as musical presentations or lawn bowling.
Wanda Richter said she was concerned about the possibility of vandalism.
The best way to avoid vandalism is to involve the teens from the start, said services coordinator Sherri Madden.
Some of the proposed plan, such as the basketball court, would have to wait until Kinder Morgan completes its planned twinning of the Transmountain pipeline, Madden said.
Pennell said he would like to see clearing for the park begin next spring. The TNRD director predicted there would be plenty of volunteer help to get the project off the ground.
At present the closest thing the area has to a community park is the boat launch at the end of Ferry Road. That location is not suitable for major development, Pennell felt.