The Rotary Club of Invermere is well-known throughout the valley for having a hand in many community-focused objectives, from athletic parks and bursaries to visitor appreciation days. Starting this summer, the club will once again be on a fundraising mission, this time for their new project — a spray park for Kinsmen Beach — and will be looking to the community for a little help.
“Rotary has a lot of different areas we focus on,” said club community director, Kerri-Anne Thomas. “We try to put in projects that we think the community will enjoy and that will enhance the quality of life.”
The club had gone through a long, drawn-out process of deciding on a project that they could “sink their teeth into.”
Early last year, the club narrowed down their list to two final projects. The crossroads beautification project was selected as the short-term project, and it was decided the spray park idea would be the project with more of a long-term focus.
The ideas were drawn from a list the District of Invermere had contributed to, of projects the district would like to see happen. Since the list was given to Rotary before the last election, Thomas said it took some time to educate the new councillors and to bring them up to speed, following last November’s election.
“At this point, everyone seems to be on the same page,” Thomas said.
The proposed site of the spray park, Kinsmen Beach, is currently undergoing a number of enhancement projects, from the new amenity building to shoreline restorations. Thomas said this was one of the major reasons why Rotary felt the beach would be an ideal location.
“The theory behind the overall location is that it’s part of this whole rejuvenation of the Kinsmen Beach area,” Thomas said. “I think it’s a fabulous location for it because it gives parents the opportunity to have their children of multiple ages enjoy the beach in a lot of different ways.”
While the exact size of the spray park is still up for debate, it is planned to be sectioned off into zones for children of certain age groups.
For example, the area for the younger children will likely have lower water pressure toys, while an area further away would have some of the more intensive features. The price tag on the park at the moment rests at about $225,000 and Thomas said that while the club would like it to be ready for next summer, at this point funding is a major issue.
“We need to get into a position where we can commit to our purchase order, and know that we have the funding behind us to be able to pay for it when it arrives,” Thomas said. “It’s in the planning stages now, and the sooner we get our coffers filled with corporate sponsorships, grant money and fundraising, the sooner we’ll be able to kick it off.”
In light of this, Rotary will begin a grassroots fundraising campaign for the project this summer. This year’s annual Loop the Lake fundraiser will support the spray park, and one can be sure more than a few fundraising barbecues will be held in the coming year.
“We hope the community will get behind this project and help to financially support it,” said Thomas. “That’s a lot of hotdogs — $225,000.”