Results of first round of engagement in Skaha Lake Park East Plan are now available

NEWS RELEASE

Residents can now view the results of the engagement activities conducted in December to gather ideas for the creation of a long-term plan for the east portion of Skaha Lake Park. The future of the east end of Skaha Lake Park, including what to do about the marina and other aging facilities, was discussed as part of two open houses held in early December, as well as online through the City’s shapeyourcitypenticton.ca website.

“We were very impressed with the quality of the input we received,” says Special Projects Manager Ben Johnson. “Participants clearly took the time to provide detailed and thoughtful comments that will be very helpful in shaping the plan for this area.”

Over 400 people attended the open houses and 240 completed the feedback forms. Some of the themes from the engagement activities include:

  • The most beloved feature of the park is the green space and natural environment. Participants also love the beach and lake, the walking paths, the family setting, the dragon boating and outrigger canoeing, and the play area and splash park.
  • For many participants, the park is perfect in its current state. They are supportive of the amenities and activities that are currently in the park and would like to see them continue. There is also interest in seeing improvements to the dragon boat and canoeing facilities, the safety of the lake through separation of motorized and non-motorized vehicles, and the availability of restaurant and food services.

Participants in the engagement activities were also invited to share their feedback on some of the ideas being considered to address the needs and opportunities in this section of the park, including several that were put forward by resident Peter Osborne on behalf of local parks groups.  With the exception of reducing or reconfiguring parking to increase greenspace, all of the ideas received were well supported. In order of support from largest to small, the ideas include:

  • Continue to offer beach vending (i.e. concessions)* (82.3% support)
  • Renew the splash pad / spray park* (75.6% support)
  • Rebuild a boat house for dragon boats / outrigger canoes* (74.2% support)
  • Continue to have a café associated with the marina* (74% support)
  • Continue to offer a marina with boat rentals, moorage and fuel sales* (67.1% support)
  • Add a “green” pedestrian connection along the waterfront* (55.7% support)
  • Expand food/drink offerings at the marina (i.e. restaurant / pub) (53.4% support)
  • Add a 150’ wharf to separate motorized / and non-motorized watercraft* (50.4% support)
  • Reconfigure or reduce parking to increase greenspace* (27.1% support)

Some of the new ideas that surfaced through the engagement process include interest in:

  • A dog park or dog beach
  • More community events
  • Cycling infrastructure  (i.e. secure storage and water bottle stations)
  • Outdoor ice rink
  • Environmental and cultural interpretive centre

Staff are now analyzing the results and working on concepts to review with residents in the next phase of engagement. The complete results are available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca and are on display at the City’s new engagement kiosks located at the Community Centre, City Hall and the Museum / Library lobby. The results will also be reviewed with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee at their next meeting on Feb. 3.

“I was pleased to hear there was such a good turnout to discuss this important topic,” says Mayor John Vassilaki.  “Council is looking forward to hearing what people have to say and seeing how this work evolves.” Residents are encouraged to register with shapeyourcitypenticton.ca to stay informed.

 

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 Contacts:

Ben Johnson
Special Projects Manager
City of Penticton
250-490-2573

JoAnne Kleb
Engagement Strategist
City of Penticton
250-490-2586