Village hopes water park will help attract young families

After three years of fundraising, the village of Chase in B.C.’s Interior is finally getting a water park to provide fun for kids in a community where more than one-third of the population is over 65.

Chase, B.C., raises $355,000 to build splash park for kids

The artist rendering of the splash pad to be built in Chase, B.C. (Waterplay Solutions Corp. )

After over three years of fundraising, bit-by-bit, the Village of Chase in B.C.'s Interior is finally getting a splash pad.

The new facility is an attempt by locals to attract more young people and families to the community at the western end of the Shuswap region.

Fundraising leader Beverly Iglesias says that's needed so "the community continues to live and thrive."

Chase doesn't offer enough services and amenities for young people which becomes problematic for the seniors in the village, said Iglesias, adding she's nearing senior-status.

"Who is going to take care of us?" she said.

According to Canada's 2016 census, people over the age of 65 made up 37 per cent of Chase residents. Children under 14 accounted for 11 per cent of the population.

Iglesias came up with the idea, and convinced the local Lions Club to sponsor it. The past three years they've had hot dog sales, door-to-door pie sales, local dances and other small fundraisers.

A plaque campaign, selling plaques at $5,000 each, garnered the most money for the splash pad: about $100,000.

A contribution of $25,000 from the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust put the funds raised at $355,000, which is enough to begin construction. It will be located on Little Shuswap Lake in Memorial Park. 

An engineer will be on site early next week to start working on the layout of the splash pad.

With files from Daybreak Kamloops