Rick Fairbairn (left)

Rick Fairbairn (left)

Lumby residents pull together

Building a strong and vibrant community is everyone’s business in Lumby.

Building a strong and vibrant community is everyone’s business in Lumby.

Various organizations got together Wednesday for a ceremonial launch of construction of a children’s spray park and adult fitness equipment in Oval Park.

“This was truly a community effort,” said Rick Fairbairn, White Valley Parks and Recreation chairperson.

“I am thrilled to see how the community has come together.”

The total project cost is $435,322, with $30,000 each coming from the Lumby Lions Club and the Teddy’s Devils and Martin’s Angels ball teams.

“This will benefit a lot of the citizens of Lumby and area,” said Mike Takahashi, a Lions member.

The Devils and Angels have been raising funds for various projects since 1987 and a water park has always been a long-term goal.

“We need something for the kids,” said Ted Luszcz, one of the founders of the ball teams.

MLA Eric Foster is impressed with how residents have rallied behind the projects.

“I want to acknowledge the hard work of these organizations for their support of the community,” he said.

There is also $27,064 coming from the Regional District of North Okanagan and $348,258 from the provincial government.

Bill Bennett, B.C.’s community development minister, knows from the experience in his hometown of Cranbrook that spray parks are popular.

“It’s used in the summertime, it’s unbelievable,” he said.

There is the hope that amenities like the spray park will attract families to Lumby, which benefits the schools and the economy.

“Creating a youthful community is of  the utmost important,” said Mayor Kevin Acton.

It’s anticipated work on the spray park and fitness equipment will begin soon, and ready for the public next spring.

Bennett also attended the grand  opening of expanded facilities at the Vernon Recreation Complex.

The main thrust behind the project was a larger fitness centre.

“They were struggling with programs because there was not enough area,” said Tannis Nelson, with the regional district.

A playground has also been added for toddler programs while there is a new chairlift at the pool for people with mobility issues.

The recreation complex project cost $90,342, with $72,274 coming from the provincial government and the rest from RDNO.