Alistair MacAlister, David Lowther, and Ian Morrison cut the ribbon to open Honeymoon Bay playground on July 20. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

VIDEO: Ribbon cutting officially opens Honeymoon Bay playground

After renovation in two phases, the park is now officially open

As part of Honeymoon Bay Day ceremonies on Saturday, July 20, a ribbon cutting officially opened the new kids playground at Honeymoon Bay’s centrally located park.

Ian Morrison, chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and director for Area F where Honeymoon Bay lies, said of the two-phase refurbishment of the park, “It was a really expensive endeavour but I really like what we’ve got.

“I’ve been asking staff to get us a WiFi hotspot for the park. It’s not there yet. We’re working on it. But it works out there a lot more expensive than the WiFi you have in your home. We are working on creating a WiFi hub. I’ve seen moms with strollers waiting in the park until the school bus comes and if they had the WiFi it would help. The second thing is: we’re looking at doing a willow tunnel. This is where the willows are all tied into one another and it creates a tunnel for the kids to play in. Willows require wet soil so it’s not a good idea to put it in at the beginning of summer so they’ve decided they’re going to wait until the fall to put the willow tunnel in.

“I’m excited to see you all here. This is a really important part of Honeymoon Bay’s downtown. There was a community planner who talked about making communities that were liveable for people from eight to 80. He talked about creating gathering spaces.

“I don’t know many other communities where you can walk out the front steps of your community hall, and walk on a wonderful manicured path from the front door of the hall all the way down to the waterfront at the lake. We have that here and I think it’s a pretty darned good thing, too.”

David Lowther, chair of the Area F parks commission, said, “This is the result of a cooperative process, done by your volunteer parks commission. We’re all old people and we definitely need young blood so if there is anybody in this community who really really really wants to do something for the community, have an impact on what happens, please talk to Ian. He can appoint you to the commission and you can tell me what to do.”

Lowther had one of his signature humorous stories about planning the playground.

“When we had our meeting up there I was having a bun fight with the staff about the zipline: whether we should have one or not. I was all for it and they said: no one wants a zipline. There were a couple of young fellows, I figure 11 or 12 years old, who wandered into the meeting. They were looking at the plan and Graham, the staff guy and I walked up and stood behind them. I said: What do you think? And one of the kids said to me: Where’s the zipline? I want that kid to know that’s what happens if you go to a public meeting and open your damn mouth. Keep it up.

“This is our tax dollars well spent. It’s really been fun for me to do it.”

MacGregor said, “Our lives are so harried, so frenetic. I don’t think we put enough value on rest and relaxation. Just coming to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Look where you are! This is the place to be. Lake Cowichan, Mesachie Lake, and Honeymoon Bay: these are just jewels of the Cowichan Valley.”

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