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LETTER: Saanich Peninsula needs more splash parks

I have sent an open letter to the municipalities on the Saanich Peninsula about the lack of spray parks (splash pads) on the Peninsula.

The township of Sidney has a small splash pad at Iroquois Park, and other than that the closest one is at Beckwith Park in Saanich (more than 22 km away). This small splash pad in Sidney is inadequate in servicing the three municipalities and four First Nations of the Peninsula. In contrast, the City of Langford has four splash pads to serve their families.

Splash parks are an important outdoor feature for children of all ages and bring great joy to children, parents and caregivers. COVID-19 has greatly changed the way in which we interact and play, and outdoor play is more important now than ever. Social distancing is the new norm and having spaces for children and parents to enjoy time outside (while maintaining social distance) is crucial for mental and physical health and overall well-being.

Recently, I asked Peninsula parents and caregivers on a small Peninsula Facebook page for feedback on the adequacy of our current splash park and the interest in an additional or larger spray park on the Peninsula. I received almost 100 responses in support of another splash park on the Peninsula and many comments about how Peninsula municipalities lack the outdoor pools and splash parks of other local areas.

With the increase in housing prices in the City of Victoria, many families are choosing the Peninsula to raise their children. The Peninsula is a wonderful place to raise a family with its abundance of parks, hiking trails, farms and beaches. The addition of a larger splash park would be a huge benefit to Peninsula families.

Community well-being and consultation appear to be tenets of municipalities strategic plans. I ask that the municipalities of the Saanich Peninsula consider the voices of families and the addition of another splash park.

Terri Healy,

North Saanich

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