A new splash park is well on it’s way to being a reality in Revelstoke.

A new splash park is well on it’s way to being a reality in Revelstoke.

Splash park will help cool blistering summers

Summer splash on its way

Tim Collins /News staff

The dream of a shaded park, complete with an elaborate splash pad designed for all ages is sure to bring a smile to citizens of Revelstoke who are still recovering from the blistering days of summer.

Well, that dream is getting ever closer to reality, according to Pat McKee, who is spearheading a fundraising effort to make the park a reality.

“There was a group tied to the original owners of the park, the Germanic Knights of the Order of Khorassan (established in Revelstoke in 1899) trying to raise funds for the project before I came along, but they weren’t having much success and approached me in April to help out and then backed away from the project. They took care of the park and had built the wading pool that operated until 2013 when it was shut down and eventually removed because of structural and health reasons,” said McKee.

“That left Revelstoke with no outdoor water feature of any kind, so I formed a small group called the Farwell Splash Park Society with the goal of raising the $653,000 needed to complete the project. We managed to get an initial donation of $1,000 from the Revelstoke Community Foundation, and that set us on our way.”

From there McKee’s group approached a number of other funding sources including the Revelstoke Credit Union, who donated $50,000 to the project, and the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation, who donated an additional $100,000.

An additional $50,000 was added to the pot at the Sept 12 meeting of Council from the Economic Opportunity Fund, although those funds are still awaiting final approval from the board of the fund. If approved it will raise the total of the fund-raising efforts to the $201,000 mark.

“I never want to forget that initial $1,000 from the Community Foundation. It gave us some credibility and set us on our way,” said McKee with a smile.

The group, obviously still facing a shortfall before making their dream a reality, has already reached out to the B.C. Lotteries Gaming Grant Program; a program that will match funds for worthwhile community projects.

To that end, the group held a meeting at the City Council Chambers on Thursday to sign up members for the organization,

“It’s the first year that Lotteries has allowed for capital works grants and we had only to the end of the month to apply, so it was important for us to have that other funding in place. It really has worked out well so far,” said McKee.

The group has also applied to the Columbia Basin Trust ( an organization formed in 1995 to support the efforts and ideas of the people of the Columbia Basin). Last year the Trust donated $175,000 to the municipality of Kimberly for a similar project, and a representative of the group has already met with McKee to discuss Revelstoke’s project.

If the group is successful in those two grant applications, they will be close to having achieved their fund raising goals. Construction at the park could potentially start soon after and Revelstoke residents of all ages would be able to look forward to having a cool, fun destination during the heat waves of summers to come.