Spray park fulfils a dream

The new water park for Lumby is a project that will only better our community all around and make it a more attractive place...

I find the need to write in response to Russ Collins and Ellinor Turill’s letters in The Morning Star. The water park is a project that will only better our community all around and make it a more attractive place for what those of us that have worked very hard to accomplish are very proud of.

First, the water park is not a project that some people just pulled out of a hat and decided a couple months ago to try to get. My parents and their friends started Teddy’s Devils and Martin’s Angels Sunshine Coach Society in 1987. At that time they began playing ball games for fun all year round in all seasons and weather conditions to raise money for children in our community. Through many ball games, events, and different fundraisers and years of hard work they have purchased a Sunshine Coach to transport children in our community with special needs to school in Vernon at the time when they needed to go there.

They have also donated to our schools, daycares, and even were the first major sponsor and supporter when our community playground needed to be replaced due to CSA standards and there was no taxpayer’s money to replace it.

It was their tireless support over the last 25 years that have given children in our community many opportunities. It was this group that 15 years ago decided to raise money for a safe water attraction for our community and through many meetings with NORD and the village that the idea of the water park came to life. Fifteen years ago! Not a few months ago.

Second, your comments about the water park having no educational purpose or value.  It might be news to you, but kids learn through a variety of ways.

Children learn many skills through play alone.  Social, cognitive and imaginative play encourages learning important life skills.

Third, you mention no community input.

Clearly that must be an oversight on your part as if you walk into our Village Office Council Chambers you will see a beautiful drawing done by Outland Design Architecture of the “Whitevalley Parks and Recreation and Cultural Conceptual Landscape Plan” of the final draft that was adopted by the citizens of Lumby, Area D and E and have been on display since Feb. 15, 2011 after seven years of public meetings and nothing but input from citizens, organizations and groups in our fine community which had a price tag of $37,000. The end result is the beautiful plan that has the water park and outdoor fitness equipment listed as #10 and #12 respectively on the plan drawing.

The people have spoken and they said they wanted both, that is why they are on the plan.

Not because our directors just decided on their own.

If you failed to go to one of the numerous public meetings that were advertised and provide your negative input, I’m sorry and advise you in the future to get out to the community meetings when they are advertised.

Our community needs to have attractions for all demographics, young and old and everyone in between. It is a fact we need young families to buy houses and move here to increase our tax base and fill our schools, our clubs, etc. so our community can continue to offer programs and some opportunities for our children to compete and keep our children in our community.

Our young families deserve all the same opportunities as young families living elsewhere.

Over these 15 years every possible option was looked at and considered.

A wading pool like Lavington free of charge was looked at but that meant the need to have another lifeguard at a cost to taxpayers yearly. The latest technology bollards that are used will not be spewing water 24 hours a day. They are individually activated through motion sensors for a minute. If there are no kids there is no water used at all.

If you were running a business and there was an opportunity to make your business better and more attractive to customers for only 20 cents on the dollar, would you not welcome that chance?

It is almost a half a million dollar project combining both items, to make our community the best it can be with two wonderful groups (Teddy’s Devils and Martin’s Angels Sunshine Coach Society and the Lumby Lions Club) combining to donate $60,000 on top of that because they believe in all demographics in our community.

I was raised here, did all my schooling here, and chose to stay and raise a family here because I know firsthand what a great community we have.

Sherry Kineshanko

Lumby