For The Express
The plug has been pulled on the popular children’s wading pool at Winagami Lake Provincial Park.
The decision has drawn concern from several municipal councils.
The wading pool in the park has been closed permanently, says a letter from Village of Donnelly Mayor Myrna Lanctot dated June 13.
“With the wading pool gone, it will be a detriment to the park,” she writes.
Alberta Parks confirms the pool is history.
“The Winagami wading pool has been closed because it’s no longer feasible to maintain the aging infrastructure and repair vandalism,” states information on the park’s website.
“Planning is already underway to provide new recreational opportunities.”
Alberta Parks says options include a spray park, a bike park and a larger playground.
County council responded to the letter at its regular meeting June 26 and is sending a letter of support to Donnelly council.
“I know how much that wading pool means to people in the area,” says Reeve Richard Simard, a former McLennan resident.
“It would be a great loss to see the pool close.”
Lanctot writes the park is popular for residents of the region and the pool was a major attraction.
Many local schools also enjoy year-end field trips to the park, she adds.
“The wading pool is often full, even more people than there are people camping,” Lanctot says.
“This has been a big draw for a place to just picnic.
“Not only will avid campers miss the wading pool, but also families from the surrounding area.”
Many people from the M.D. of Smoky River, Falher, Donnelly, McLennan, Girouxville, Peace River, High Prairie, Big Lakes County, Valleyview and other nearby communities use the pool and park, she writes.
She also sent the letter to Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon, Grande Prairie – Smoky MLA Todd Loewen, Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn and neigbouring municipalities.
“There are fewer amenities in the north and we would hate to see another one gone,” Lanctot writes.
“What can we do to reverse this decision?”
She requests a meeting with Nixon and other government officials.