At last Tuesday’s council meeting Peachland council members were presented with an update on the Heritage Park Splash Pad project which, if all goes well, will open to the public for Canada Day.
The project has been in the works since 2015, when it was identified as a top priority in the Council Strategic Plan.
The splash pad project is considered to have a high level of community support. A Parks and Recreation Master Plan finalized in 2018 included the results of a statistically valid survey in which 70 per cent responded that a water park was very important or important, Cheryl Wiebe, director of community services, said in her presentation to council last Tuesday.
The splash pad will have a total of 14 sprays and six unique features, including four geysers on the outside that will initially be used with a low flow plate to control water usage but can be switched to a medium flow or high flow plate.
The splash pad will also feature split spurts, which create an arc so kids can crawl underneath them. The middle of the splash pad will have an interactive feature called “pop its” where the water pops out of the ground in one location, encouraging kids to chase the water when it lands somewhere else. Additional features will include fountain mountains as well as two confetti spray features that have eight large streams of water in a circle with eight smaller streams inside. The centrepiece of the splash pad will be a mop top feature located in the centre of the park.
While the splash pad will use treated water that will go into the sewer system, it won’t be turned on and left running all day. A participant will need to push a button to activate a programmed sequence that will automatically turn off. To add recycling would double or triple the budget, Wiebe said.
The municipality will also have the ability to create an interactive light show with or without the water. The LED lights are programmable by colour so the possibility exists for parks staff to create a two-minute interactive light show at dusk or in the evening. Wiebe says the lights can also be used in winter as a Christmas feature.
“If you go to any of these features throughout the Okanagan you see families there. They are an absolute hotspot for family gatherings, birthday parties, those kind of things and the type of play and interaction that does not cost money but brings people together,” said Councillor Mike Kent. “I think it’s really the type of attraction that benefits all generations within the community. . . I think it’s a great investment that we’ll be proud of for many, many years to come.”
Councillor Pam Cunningham said she also loves the idea and how it is coming along.
“Just think if we could add music [to the light show at night] for a Peachland Bellagio. How amazing for tourism would that be,” Cunningham said.
The park is designed to be shaped like a jelly bean and will be located just south of the playground in Heritage Park.
The total budget for the project, which was awarded to RecTec Industries, is $210,000.