• Thursday , 1 December 2022

Heritage Park washrooms: what about functionality?

Dear editor:

It seems that the only thing we are talking about these days in Peachland is the potential washroom building currently sitting, unused, at the south end of Beach Avenue. It certainly seems to have given new life locally to one word – “ugly.”

Of course, it is ugly. Do we have to leave it like that? Of course not. All sorts of cladding and landscaping could be considered to make it more attractive, even an imitation bricks-and-mortar sort of covering. Alternatively, a trellis with growing vines could give it a softer, more natural appearance. Another idea – dare I mention it – could be to consider it a canvas for those amazing artists of Peachland to try out their mural ideas.

But is “ugly” is the only word we should be talking about? What about “functionality?” With increasing population in Peachland and hopefully with young families coming here, we can expect to see more and more use of our play facilities, Heritage Park in particular.  The washroom facilities that we currently have are already insufficient and the increasing need is not going to go away. Some years ago, a similar washroom “building” was installed at the side of the (sadly now closed) visitor centre at the junction of the Coquihalla and Connector Highways near Merritt. It was gratefully used by many travellers and the interior of it was wonderful. How nice it would be to have a similarly clean and modern facility here in town. Temporary johnnies-on-the-spot right in Heritage Park just don’t cut it. In contrast to that situation, the current location of the new potential washroom does not diminish the park, nor does it appear to block the view from anywhere.

To be on the verge of making a decision to dispose of this much-needed facility just because it does not please the eye of a councillor and because Interior Health have dropped their requirement, seems to be the very height of thoughtlessness. After all, it is unlikely that those we will see frolicking in the splash park will be members of council, remarkable as that spectacle might be. It is the children who matter. Should we not be reaching out to those families in Peachland who actually have small children (or grandchildren), and be informed and guided by the thoughts they can offer? Perhaps they would be thrilled at the opportunity of seeing their little ones scampering across a busy Beach Avenue whenever the call of nature came knocking. But perhaps not.

Don Wigfield, Peachland

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