One of two sketches showing proposed changes to Centennial Park. The town will be upgrading the park in phases

One of two sketches showing proposed changes to Centennial Park. The town will be upgrading the park in phases

Centennial Park receiving upgrades

Phase One: The town will begin work on little league diamond this spring, following budget talks.

Despite the harsh rain and wind, Lake Cowichan’s Centennial Park is seeing some activity, as several groups, including town officials, begin their respective upgrades on the park.

The Town of Lake Cowichan is beginning the first phase of their long-term plans, which includes upgrades to the little-league ball diamond. The upgrades will bring the diamond up to regulation, allowing the field to host league games, rather than just practices.

The local ball association will be meeting with town officials before they set the budget, which is scheduled to begin in five weeks.

As for the second phase, councillor Lorna Vomacka said she hopes the town can seek more input from the public before moving ahead with the project.

“Of course you can’t just build something and say ‘here you go,’ then have nobody use it,” Vomacka said. “We have to go to the public and ask what they need, and I don’t know what that will be… They might not need tennis courts, they might want a pickleball court instead. It’s all subject to change.”

The town has already been provided with two sketches of the finished park, one in 2008 and one in 2011, though much of what was planned is likely to change as the upgrades are implemented over time.

The community garden planned for the park continues to move ahead, and Cowichan Green Community is currently pursuing a grant from Tree Canada, which would give them the funding necessary to plant several fruit-bearing trees next to the garden.

However, the proposed location of the trees overlaps with the nearby BMX track, which another local group just recently began renovating.

The group, headed by Beth Kidd, whose grandson Alex frequently uses the track, recently presented a sketch of their proposed upgrades to town council. The sketches are partly based on the BMX track in Cobble Hill, and adds a smaller ring for less experienced cyclists to ride.

Kidd said that while most of the smaller mounds in the sketch already exist, the larger ones will need to be built.