Lions Club adds $15,000 bathroom to busy park

The Lion's Park upgrades have taken another step forward.

The one-stall washroom recently added to the Lions Park.

The one-stall washroom recently added to the Lions Park.

The Lion’s Park upgrades have taken another step forward.

The park, which is located behind the Invermere and District Hospital, was recently equipped with a new one-stall, wheelchair-accessible washroom facility.

The Lake Windermere Lions Club covered the cost of the washroom implementation and presented District of Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft with a cheque for $15,000 last week.

This new feature is just one of the many implemented and soon-to-come upgrades for the park, which the Lions Club has been maintaining for the last four years, spending close to $90,000 in total for the enhancements.

“Back in the early ’80s, the Lions Club paid for the original play equipment for the park. Ever since, we have maintained the park,” said Lions Club member Harold Hazelaar.

“About five years ago, the district informed us that the treated lumber used in the play equipment had to be phased out for child safety regulations, so we went about replacing the play equipment.”

Following this, the Lions Club then put a gazebo in the park two years ago. With the new play equipment, gazebo, and variety of adult exercise equipment now at the park, it had received more use than usual.

“This year, with all this nice new stuff, the park got a lot more use than it ever did before,” explained Hazelaar.

“The District received a request for a washroom, therefore. The club thought it was the next knowledgeable step for the park.”

The single-stall bathroom came pre-assembled, with the manufactures delivering and placing the stall via crane on the cemented foundation the district had laid out for it.

Lions Club members then hooked up the stall facilities after it was placed.

Park upgrades will not stop here, however, as the Lions Club is still looking into additional work that can be done to bring the park to its fullest potential.

“Right now we are exploring the possibility of re-doing the park’s pathway,” said Halezaar.

“A couple years ago, we had new rocks laid into the pathway to try to clean it up, but weeds grew through them. The weed condition of the path is awful now, but we’d like it to be useable for strollers and wheelchairs especially, so that the folks at Columbia House can access it.”

A possible future plan to dig out the stones and weeds and re-do the path with cement in therefore in the works.

The Lions Club would also like to complete the front fence to finish off the park’s current upgrade needs, possibly before the summer of 2012.