Of the three options presented, labelled 1.1, 1.2 and 2, and mentioned in your Jan. 4 article, “Latest Options for Turner Park Now on Display at Community Centre”, all have accommodation for: a dog park (biggest in Option 2), pickleball and basketball courts, children’s playground (on northeast side with a lake view in Option 2), bookable event space, parking and baseball/soccer (some with restrictions).
Only Option 2 restores the old softball field on the southwest side of Turner Park and provides a full-sized soccer field in 2022.
Options 1.1 and 1.2 both require a lot more funding, not available in the 2022 budget, because what is not stated in the consultant survey is that options 1.1 and 1.2 will also require excavation and removal of the current toboggan run and lacrosse box loved by so many in the wintertime at Turner Park. This will need to be done to make the old little league left field on the northwest side long enough to also be a softball field.
The costs and time frame associated with Option 1.1 and 1.2 mean a ball field and soccer field could not be operational this year. But they will be both available, as mentioned by the director of community services in the Dec. 24 issue of the Peachland View [if we choose Option 2]. She said, “We had a ball field up there for years and there is no reason why that one field cannot be restored for use in 2022 within our operating budget.”
For soccer, Option 1.1 only provides a mini soccer field length. But children play on a full size soccer field after the age of 10-11, so a mini soccer field is insufficient. Turner Park is the only park in Peachland capable of having both a full-sized baseball and soccer field. If we don’t get a full-sized soccer field here, Peachland kids may never have a youth soccer club.
Option 1.2 provides a full-sized soccer field but has it running through the gravel infield of the ball field. This is not done because it is unsafe to have soccer players playing on a field with a combination of grass and gravel.
Option 2 provides a full-size soccer field that doesn’t run through the gravel baseball infield and provides a full-size baseball/softball field that has only right field at less that 300 feet, which is acceptable as a softball field throughout B.C. with proper fencing. It doesn’t require the toboggan hill to be removed or the lacrosse box removed.
The Option 2 restored Turner Park softball field would have a 260-foot right field. Peachland’s Cousins Park has only a 235-foot right field and three of the five tournament softball fields at nearby Summerland’s Dale Meadows Park have less than a 260-foot right field. All they do to make them playable is put up a fence at the end of right field and that is all we have to do here, too.
So calling the Option 2 ball field “Non Regulation” as has been done in the consultant survey, is, in my opinion, somewhat misleading. It leads folks to choose the far more costly and time-consuming Option 1.1 or 1.2 to deliver a needlessly expensive ball field and inadequate soccer field at a much later date.
We are already paying $3.1 million for this park and want to utilize it as quickly and inexpensively as possible by simply restoring the softball field used there for 30 years, which will, in doing so, also allow a full-sized soccer field and little league field in 2022.
We do not need nor want another cost overrun project in Peachland.
For the kids of Peachland, to allow them to finally play together on Peachland soccer and little league teams on Peachland fields in their community, and for the adults of Peachland, to give them another softball diamond and a full-sized soccer field as soon as possible, please vote for Option 2.
Survey voting forms are available at the Community Center or can be accessed online via the following link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NVZ9F68
Randey Brophy, Peachland