City’s gem of a park could use a great new facet

It’s almost 10 o’clock, but the kids are still wide awake and the park is practically filled

Under the tipping point of the Big Dipper we gather to laugh and to share a great time.

Families, friends, neighbours and happy strangers play and mingle as the sun dips below the trees of Willow Point Park to its inevitable “melting point” in the ocean beyond.

As twilight descends, a cool breeze picks up out of the north and out come the jackets and blankets, about to be covered in bits of popcorn and splashes of soda.

It’s almost 10 o’clock, but the kids are still wide awake and the park is practically filled as The Lego Movie finally begins on the giant inflatable screen.

It’s Sunset Cinema night in Campbell River and thanks to the folks at Coastal Community, we’re enjoying this evening together for free.

The outdoor movie night is always a big hit when the weather’s right, yet this is just my first time. It’s a terrific community event and it’s just one more facet that makes Willow Point Park a true gem of the city.

The park was hardly that when I first arrived in Campbell River way back in 1990. At that time it was just a few ball fields, tennis courts and not much else.

But the community leaders and planners of the day had a vision to create a multi-faceted community park in the centre of  Campbell River’s fastest growing area. What they started has continued to grow and flourish.

Proper playing fields for soccer, baseball, football and rugby came first, followed by the Sportsplex complex where I’ve played squash, racquetball, badminton, volleyball, worked out, danced at big events, and sat in at boring meetings.

Much more goes on there too, but the building continued outside as well. The all-weather gravel field and lights went in, followed by beach volleyball, bocce and basketball courts.

Volunteers have also left their stamp on the park. A couple guys started the much-used disc golf course and Campbell River Rotarians built the wonderful new water park.

On Wednesday night, before the movie began, our team played its last slopitch game of the season on the upper ball field. After celebrating our win, I walked along the path towards the big screen and passed by the much-maligned all-weather field.

It’s hardly ever used because sliding on gravel hurts, yet it’s the only playing field outside the Nunns Creek baseball field that has lights. Then, once again, I thought about the city’s plan to spend millions to build a new turf field and install lights at Robron Park. You know, the home to the unused lacrosse box and tennis courts where cold winds always seem to blow.

I’ll say it one last time: The money should go to Willow Point Park.

The all-weather field is desperate for a make-over. In fact, two turf fields could go in that space. Sacrifice the upper ball field for more parking, build new changerooms and, voila, Campbell River’s gem of a park becomes an even more valuable asset to this community.

paulr@campbellrivermirror.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

What does the nearly $10 million RCMP contract get the people of Campbell River?

Despite discussion around police funding, response techniques and use of force, the… Continue reading

Campbellton … A River Runs Through

Campbell River neighbourhood celebrates ongoing revitalization

Over 90 Campbell Riverites cycling to raise funds for kids cancer research

Cyclists will be raising funds until end of August

Special Olmypics Campbell River first nonprofit to benefit from golf course giving back

Fifteen per cent of proceeds earned by Campbell River Golf and Country Club on Aug. 8 to be donated

A B.C business used robots to bring down concrete walls

Walco Industries is the only firm on Vancouver Island to use specialized robots for hydro-demolition

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Fear and ignorance have spiked racism in the province: B.C’s human rights commissioner

Kasari Govender has been virtually interacting with citizens in remote, rural areas to address concerns of discrimination

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

Most Read