Cowichan Lake Recreation programmer Tanya Kaul said that a number of activities

Cowichan Lake Recreation programmer Tanya Kaul said that a number of activities

New drop-in program coming to Central Park this summer

Town council wants to see a swimming program in Lake Cowichan's Duck Pond next summer.

With summer upon us and school out of session, Lake Cowichan’s youngest residents, along with their parents, may be excited to hear that Cowichan Lake Recreation is preparing to launch a new, free drop-in program designed to keep kids active and busy during the summer months.

The Park Program is being held from July 6 to August 28 each weekday across the area. Monday, Wednesday and Friday will see the program take place at Central Park in Lake Cowichan, while on Tuesday and Thursday the program will take place at the Mesachie Lake Skydome and outside of the Honeymoon Bay Hall, respectively, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Though the drop-in program is free and does not require registration, space is limited to 20 kids per day. The Park Program is open to kids ages five to 14 and is held on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The [Park Program] is not designed to be a daycare,” Cowichan Lake Recreaction programmer Tanya Kaul said. “It’s for kids who are independent to engage in games and crafts and of course meet and socialize with other kids.”

Kaul said that kids will have the chance to participate in a number of crafts, sports and games, including football, relays, water balloon fights, potato sack races, drawing and painting.

The Park Program is being launched this summer partly thanks to Cowichan Lake Recreation being given the go-ahead to hire a full-time summer student from the Lower Mainland to act as a playground facilitator.

Though town council approved Cowichan Lake Recreation’s use of Central Park this summer, councillor Tim McGonigle suggested that the organization also consider running a swimming program in Lake Cowichan – possibly at the Duck Pond off North Shore Road – next summer.

“Cowichan Lake Recreation should do something at the Duck Pond for the residents of Lake Cowichan,” McGonigle said. “There’s a far greater need for usage here in town.”

Kaul pointed out that swimming lessons are already offered at Arbutus Park in Youbou, and that Cowichan Lake Recreation would need to get approval to have lifeguards present at the Duck Pond or another swimming hole in Lake Cowichan in order to offer swimming lessons or any other swimming program in town.

Councillor Bob Day suggested that the Town of Lake Cowichan submit a formal request to Cowichan Lake Recreation, and engage the group in a discussion if any improvements are necessary for such a program.