CASTLEGAR – The BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) presented its Facility Excellence Award for 2016 to the City of Castlegar for Millennium Natural Swimming Ponds. The award recognizes excellence in facility concept, design development, maintenance or operation in a facility that demonstrates outstanding innovation and significant impact in the recreation and parks sector.
These swimming ponds are the first of their kind in BC, providing visitors with a unique, safe and enjoyable swimming experience on the banks of the Columbia River. This major water feature includes three separate man-made ponds of varying depths connected by rock weirs, constructed streams and water slides. The three ponds are irregularly shaped to fit with the existing topography and are situated just above the banks of the Columbia River. The unique design of these ponds could be transferred to other riverside communities in the province.
It is safe to say that the Millennium Park Project has been an outstanding success, bringing the community’s vision of a dynamic park with a strong connection to the Columbia River to life. This success has been confirmed by a marked increase in community usage and interest in the park. The high level of community engagement throughout the planning and implementation of the Millennium Park Master Plan has resulted in a park that offers something for everyone.
“The unique design of these ponds could be transferred to other riverside communities in the province,” said BCRPA CEO Rebecca Tunnacliffe, “its multi-generational appeal and fully accessible features such as walkways and playground make it the new community focal point for all ages, all abilities and all demographics.”
The BCRPA recognized Millennium Natural Swimming Ponds as a strong example of a facility that reflects the National Framework on Recreation’s values for Public Good, Inclusion and Equity, Sustainability and Lifelong Participation.
The Facility Excellence Award is one of five provincial awards presented at the BCRPA’s annual symposium in Whistler. The conference brings together members of the parks and recreation sector from across BC, including elected officials, volunteers, members of the business community and others interested in building and sustaining active, healthy lifestyles and communities in BC.