Our children deserve better
With two little kids, we’re always trying to do something fun, to stay healthy, and to keep them and us active. I feel that there is a real lack of recreational facilities and activities in North Okanagan Regional District. So I did a bit of research to compare other areas in B.C. and found that NORD (Vernon, Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Enderby, Lumby, and Coldstream) has a population of 77,301, which is comparable to Comox Valley’s population of 64,084. After my research, I am even more dismayed at how little we have here and am wondering where exactly are my taxes going?
Comox Valley has two indoor swimming pools that are open pretty much daily, all day for the public to use. Our swimming pool hours are very limited for the public and the local swim club owns most of the prime time and does not share the pool with the public during these hours as most other swimming pools do. I’d like to know who makes these rules.
Comox Valley has a dedicated gymnastics facility plus they run gymnastics out of the recreation centre.
We have no gymnastics facility in the North Okanagan at all…closest one is in Kelowna. There is also a climbing gym in the Comox Valley – none here.
Comox Valley’s recreation centre has a gymnasium, racquetball courts, squash courts, and ping pong. Ours has a gymnasium only.
Another disappointing fact is the lack of parks in the North Okanagan.
Comox Valley has 55 parks, and of those parks, 12 have basketball courts, five baseball fields, six soccer fields, 19 playgrounds, 11 picnic areas and 15 of them have hiking trails.
As compared to Vernon which has 22 parks, and of those six have a baseball field, five soccer fields, only seven playgrounds, only two have a picnic area and only six have hiking trails.
There are 16 public beaches in the Comox Valley, and six in the North Okanagan (there are also endless ‘unowned' beaches in the Comox area for the public to use – but I recognize that this is due to their geography).
If our region wants to be a tourist destination and wants to keep families in the area, it’s time to provide some ‘fun’ stuff to the average Joe who cannot afford a swim club, a motor boat or other costly activities and things.
And finally, I am appalled that there are people that would rather keep Kin Race Track for the benefit of a few people who race horses rather then develop modern recreational facilities that would benefit children, adults and everyone else in this valley.
It’s time that NORD starts working with the cities of this valley (and vice versa) and give us something tangible with our tax dollars.