Editorial: Golden needs recreational aquatic areas

Have you heard the tale of the Reflection Lake beach?

Long ago, people used to go swimming in Reflection Lake. This story makes me shudder, seeing the lake how it is now.

Apparently, since the water flow from the Columbia River was cut off many years ago, Reflection Lake slowly became the marsh it is today. It has many benefits for waterfowl in its current state, but I can’t help to wish there was some place in Golden we could take a dip.

So many other communities embrace their waterfront features, creating beaches and parks, which in turn are profitable in their own way. They add to the sense of community, and offer spaces for vendors to set up.

Take the beach in Invermere as an example. Obviously, that lake deserves a huge waterfront feature. But, even with its size, it is always packed full of families, children, and people enjoying the sun and water.

In the summers, we have the outdoor pool and Confluence Park. There is also Cedar Lake if you want to do a bit of driving.

Enjoying outdoor spaces is an important way to feel connected to your environment. Waterfront features bring communities together, and are used for many personal and community events. You can swim in the Columbia River if you’re really committed, but you need to know where to go to ensure you’re being safe, and it wouldn’t be recommended for young children.

Imagine taking swimming lessons at a lake, what a treat that would be.

I yearn for a community beach to spend afternoons with friends and family. It would be really interesting if the commercial property owner could work with the Reflection Lake restoration efforts to truly restore the area, connecting the lake back to the Columbia River.

I’m not going to hold my breath, but it can be fun to dream.

For now, we can hope that a pool feasibility study will reveal the importance of an indoor aquatic facility. This type of community centre would also benefit those who want to enjoy a dip in a community atmosphere, all year long. If a new facility is considered, I do hope it is indoors, and larger. The current pool is often unwelcoming with so many people in it, and it doesn’t leave much room for multiple group activities.

Together, I hope Golden can find a solution to creating a communal aquatic area to enjoy.

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