Future Recreation: Tell us what you think!

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Consultation has concluded

A Recreation Master Plan is being developed for the Greater Vernon area. This includes the City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream, and Areas B (Swan Lake) and C (BX) of the Regional District of North Okanagan. The Master Plan will be used by the municipalities in the area as decisions are made about recreation facilities, active lifestyle opportunities, and recreation services over the next fifteen years.

Recreation involves not just participation in sporting activities but includes other physical, social, intellectual, creative, and spiritual pursuits that enhance individual and community wellbeing.

Household Survey

A randomly selected sample of households received in the mail instructions to access a survey with an access code. Households that did not receive instructions in the mail also have the opportunity to provide their comments through the online public survey.

Tell us what you think! - Household Survey . Please respond by April 30

Provide Your Input Now

Leave a response in the Questions tab below. Let us know why you think recreation is important. As well what do you think is needed to improve recreation in the area?

Submit A Photo

Feel free to post a picture of your favourite recreation location or activity in the Photo Submissions tab. Everyone who posts a photo will be entered to win a $50 Boston Pizza gift card.

Thank you for your input!

A Recreation Master Plan is being developed for the Greater Vernon area. This includes the City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream, and Areas B (Swan Lake) and C (BX) of the Regional District of North Okanagan. The Master Plan will be used by the municipalities in the area as decisions are made about recreation facilities, active lifestyle opportunities, and recreation services over the next fifteen years.

Recreation involves not just participation in sporting activities but includes other physical, social, intellectual, creative, and spiritual pursuits that enhance individual and community wellbeing.

Household Survey

A randomly selected sample of households received in the mail instructions to access a survey with an access code. Households that did not receive instructions in the mail also have the opportunity to provide their comments through the online public survey.

Tell us what you think! - Household Survey . Please respond by April 30

Provide Your Input Now

Leave a response in the Questions tab below. Let us know why you think recreation is important. As well what do you think is needed to improve recreation in the area?

Submit A Photo

Feel free to post a picture of your favourite recreation location or activity in the Photo Submissions tab. Everyone who posts a photo will be entered to win a $50 Boston Pizza gift card.

Thank you for your input!

Guest Book

Please leave a comment below answering one (or all) of the following questions.

1. What are your favourite recreational activities?

2. Why is recreation important to you?

3. What is needed to improve recreation in the area?

Consultation has concluded
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we enjoy running, biking, and swimming, as well as horsebackriding and hiking. physical activity keeps us grounded, and we love enjoying what nature has to offer, as well as feeling better from being physically fit. I would love to see more space for dedicated bike lanes. an indoor track for running laps in the winter would be something I would appreciate. we really need a new pool facility- so often the lanes are crowded, and access is limited. More space, equipment and flexibility with access to gym equipment for working out would be great. easier biking access to parks and lakes as well as limitations on motorized boats close to swimming areas (such as the loop between jade and juniper beaches) would make lake use safer.

gacton1 over 6 years ago

1: my favourite activities are the aquatics. My daughter is in swim club. Both kids have taken swim lessons and I enjoy swimming with them.
2: recreation provides family time, fitness and activities. It gives kids an option for something to do. It takes families away from tv and screen times.
3: when I moved to Vernon in 2004 I was so excited to have a look at the pool. I have always loved swimming and have always enjoyed using the community pools. I was so disappointed by the Vernon Swimming pool. For a community the size of Vernon it seemed quite outdated. As a family it is nearly impossible to go for a family swim in the evening. Between the swim club and swim lessons there is no opportunity for dinner time or early evening family swims. 7pm is too late to start family swim. Also, my daughter is swimming with the Kokanee swim club. I usually sit and watch her, but on some nights I do go into the small pool. I would love to be able to swim some laps, but the pool is closed to the public. I attempt to swim in the small pool but have to dodge the swim lessons and other members of the public too, all trying to use one small space.
Vernon is a fabulous community. There are lots of families and many seniors. A pool can be enjoyed by everyone. New born to 100. Also can be used 365 days a year. As much as I support ice surfaces they are limited for use by those who are into ice sports. A pool can be enjoyed by all, all of the time.
I would support the construction of a second pool in the form of increased taxes.
A friend of mine lives in Comox BC, no bigger than Vernon. They have 3 pools open to the public. It’s time that Vernon build a proper 50M pool and recreation pool along the lines of Kelowna and Penticton.
Thank you.

misty over 6 years ago

I think that Vernon needs a new better/bigger aquatic centre. A bigger and better aquatic centre benefits all age groups from infant to senior. It is the best facility that encourages family time because all individuals can participate. In addition to recreation, a new aquatic centre benefits the health and wellbeing of all Vernon residents... programs to encourage fitness, support our special needs individuals, and aid in therapy/ rehabilitation, etc... An aquatic centre supports all users of the community not just one select group. Our current facility is too small and has limited times for public swimming due to the too many users needing swim times (ie. swim lessons, VKSC, aqua fit, synchronized swimming, masters programs etc)

JenStewart over 6 years ago

1. What are your favourite recreational activities?
In summer, I enjoy cycling on roads, running and biking park trails and swimming in the lake. In winter I use the recreation centre and the ski hill.
2. Why is recreation important to you?
Recreation is not optional for me. It's incorporation of movement into my daily life. It's critical for both physical and mental health.
3. What is needed to improve recreation in the area?
My priorities for improving recreation in the area would be separated paths everywhere that is possible in the general Vernon area. When a road is widened and shoulders added it is not necessarily safer for cyclists and walkers. My preference would be to have narrower roads, with separated paths so that kids and adults could move around town safely both for commuting to work and school, and for pleasure. Right now it's hard to find places that I feel safe cycling with my daughter around town. There are a couple of separated paths, but it's not an integrated system. It's easy to dismiss the idea right away, but look internationally. It can be done, and will allow people to change their habits and be more active daily. I have a very active child, but I hesitate to allow her to cycle to school as the cars are fast, and there is no shoulder, and certainly no separated path.
Another priority would be to have a larger or second swimming pool, with a large bright exercise gym. Our pool is not adequate for the size of town. Toddlers are receiving swimming lessons at 7:30pm. Adult morning swim is squeezed in next to swim club. Master's swim as 8-9 people in a single lane.

VSellars over 6 years ago

1.What are your favourite recreational activities?
My favorite recreational activities in the are triathlon which involves swimming ( lakes and pool), biking (mountain and road) and running ( both road and trail). I also enjoy Stand up paddle boarding. I also enjoy winter sports like downhill skiing, snowshoeing, skating ( including family skates, women's hockey and ringette). I also enjoy riding my unicycle in our neighbourhood. I enjoy hiking in Kal Park and Middleton mountain.
I like to use active transportation, usually walking, as biking in our city just isn't safe enough for families, when possible to get the kids to school, to go to the beach, to go to the movies, to get to the library, to visit family in the EAST hill area, to get to hockey practice at civic or PV.

2. Why is recreation important to you?
Recreation is important to me for all the health benefits. I like to get in my 10,000 steps per day. It is a way I de-stress, a way I connect with nature. It part of my healthy aging strategy.
It is also important for me as quality family time. Time to model active lifestyle habits for my children.
It's a way our family socializes whether on ride with triathlon club members, a play at the park with friends, etc.
3. What is needed to improve recreation in the area?

We are in need of additional sidewalks to give safe places to walk throughout East Hill that are not along the most highly trafficked routes of 15th St and 32nd Ave. There isn't a safe route from Pottery Road to Polson Mall or the new bike trails on Kal Lake road. There's only your back to the highway traffic along Hwy 6 or cross the highway on Pottery at your peril and take Pottery Road down to the light at Kal Lake road, again no sidewalks, narrow often un swept shoulder for walking or biking.

We are in need of a long course (50M) pool. A new Long Course facility would allow for much improved pool access for the entire North Okanagan, provide substantial economic impact on the local economy and would have several positive impacts on the VKSC. Improved swim times for the grassroots program, improved pool access for Swim Academy, increased member options for swim programs, access to higher level swim meet hosting to take advantage of our excellent volunteer record and improved training options for swim time standards that continue to move toward long course time only standards, to name just a few.
I appreciate having the Kokanee swim club. My kids are members but their use of the pool severely restricts public use of the pool in after work hours. 5 to 7 pm. I have the same problem when aqaufit/aqua therapy is taking up a huge portion of the pool and there's only 1 or 2 lanes for lap swimming with people of very different abilities trying to get in a safe, effective workout.
A pool like the 50 m pool at the H20 with adjustable bottom on one side for lessons and seniors fitness and a moveable bulkhead would give much more options.
I would like to see a fitness gym that overlooks the pool so parents could be active while kids are at lessons like at H20 or Penticton pool. Our gym is very small, often closed for group programs, and offers very little views of the pool.
There is lack of family change space or private shower/ change space at our pool.
I hope a new pool facility will be Vernon's next priority for a big capital project.

We need better access to beaches along Okanagan Lake and to Ellison Park. I'm looking forward to development of the Camp Hurlburt lands. Trying biking or running out to Ellison Park. There is no shoulders. Traffic is busy from housing, mountain bikers headed to Ellison Park and May to September with RVs/ cars from Ellison campground as well as Outback resort. We desperately need some repairs to this route which is very rough with broke sections and potholes. We need some biking/ walking lanes.

I would strongly encourage the city of Vernon to explore what the city of Couer D'Alene Idaho has done with their waterfront/ downtown parks. I love visiting this city. While our configuration is not the same we can take elements from their design which has basketball courts, a spray park, a huge playground structure with artificial grass below, a to lot, bathrooms, sculpture, pedestrian only areas. It is a model for what could be down with Polson Park. With proximity to the library and the science center and city hall it could really become a hub for our citizens rather than a place to be feared with transient camps, drug addicts, discarded needles and crime from stabbings to prostitution.
Same can be aid for the development along kin beach. look to Skaha beach in Penticton for excellence. Spray park, excellent playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, walking and running paths, small concession, bathrooms. Let's develop Kin beach waterfront area to it's fullest to be an Okanagan gem for tourist and locals. Currently the sand is terrible, the bottom weedy, the grass is full of goose poop making it difficult to picnic or enjoy sports in the grass, there are boats coming close to swimming area or parked on the newly established beach areas.

Our city needs to be more seniors and disabled friendly. seniors need safe level walking areas. Try walking along 30th Ave apartments it's like a small rollercoaster of a side walk with up and downs for different driveways. 25th Ave linear park has been taken over by the transient population and seniors I work with no longer feel safe walking along there. cross walk buttons have been put on the narrow side of light standards on 30th ave near Tolko building and the next light heading east. You can't reach the walk buttons if you are in a wheel chair, or walk with 4w/w. Our seniors would greatly benefit from more programs at low cost. We need more partnerships with the city and more subsidy of recreation like in Oosoyoos, IH and city partnerships like in Kamloops, IH and city partnerships like in Kelowna. Why not drop the rental fees for facility spaces for all IH seniors programs, have your parks n rec programmers need to only covered staffing and equipment costs instead of space costs too. This could bring programs costs down to a level affordable for all our low income seniors.


vernonbanane over 6 years ago

1. What are your favourite recreational activities?
While my main focus is tennis, I feel that that a community the size of Vernon needs to offer a variety of activities for young and old alike.
2. Why is recreation important to you?
No matter what the activity is, it is important to keep people active. Children need to start at an early age so it becomes part of their upbringing. For those working it is all too easy to not find the time. Simply, one needs to make the time. For the seniors, they need to keep physically active for their own well-being. The value of being active has been around for eons.
3. What is needed to improve recreation in the area?
- It is great to have a “Master Plan” but unless there is a plan of implementation it is little more than a dream. We had a master plan back in 2004 that called for 8 tennis courts for Marshall Field. That was 14 years ago. Hopefully, the new Master Plan will not only include the 8 courts in that previous plan but will also have a timeline as to when the courts will be completed.
- All courts need to have the proper tennis surface. Some blacktop with lines on it eg at the Mt. Ida courts is not acceptable.
- It is not up to our recreation department to try to second guess what our community needs regarding tennis programs. It is up to our community to work with and assist our recreation department to develop tennis programs for all ages and skill levels. Here, communication is the key as these programs evolve. I see the programs not only involving instruction and leagues but also tournaments that cover all ages. The recent 55+ Games showed what can be accomplished. Such activities also assist with tourism in our area.
- We are in dire need of an indoor facility of 4 tennis courts. The only courts in the Okanagan are in Kelowna. These are booked solid over the fall, winter and spring. The next closest are in Kamloops. The community facility in North Vancouver and the planned community facility in Langley are good examples of what would work well in our community. Besides regular tennis, such a facility would attract tournaments in the Fall , Winter and Spring months. During the summer, the facility could not only be used for summer programs for both adults and children but also could be used for tourist attractions such as technology fairs, Okanagan wine “shows” and so on. The sky is the limit.

Graham over 6 years ago

1. Our family enjoys being outside in the local parks and green spaces. We also enjoy swimming and youth programs at the Rec center. Safe walking and biking opportunities in our area is important to us.

2. Being physically active helps keep us healthy, and improves our mental health.

3. Our municipalities need to make sure to keep green spaces in all neighbourhoods. Not always a playground, but green spaces to play, gather, picnic, ect...Lot sizes are decreasing and house size is increasing - we are losing safe places in neighbourhoods for children to play. We don't necessarily need buildings to support recreation. And we need connected walking and bike paths to connect neighbourhoods and limit car traffic.

Hansons5 over 6 years ago

1. Our family enjoys being playing and being together at many of the areas playgrounds and parks. We love our neighbourhood park and travel across town to utilize the playground and picnic spots at Kin Beach and we often meet up with friends at all and any playgrounds in between. We also enjoy swimming lessons, skiing, tobogganing, baseball and golf. We also love the Peanut Pool, Farmers Market and beaches and take part on several of the day camps in the summer as well.
2. As we all know, recreation is imperative to health on many levels; mental, physical and emotional. We take part in many of the City's activities and events: Canada day, movies in the park, sunshine fest, etc. and love being part of our community.
3. I enjoyed reading many of the other comments and agree with a lot of it; we have several great recreation options in Vernon but there is still need for more especially when it comes to our recreation pool! We are a community that needs swimming lessons, a much better play area for 5-15 year olds, a pool for lane swimmers and seniors too. (I admit we drive to Kelowna's H20 4-5 times in the winter just to go to H20 or EnergyPlex; a soft play space for ages 5-12 is also needed now that Yayas is closed).
I love what Charles Wills said about incorporating more commercial into our waterfront (small hotels, in-lake fountain, art studios) - that's brilliant and would bring extra tourists which is really what helps this community thrive. We are entrepreneurs in this city and need the extra support from tourism so we all win!
I also appreciate what Teri Brack said about food trucks and shopping in the parks and even though I'm not in Coldstream, I think Laura Kelder is onto something with an ice rink and other facilities at Creekside Park. I would also like to have a public/farmers market open all year.
We look forward to seeing what the masterplan will be for the next 15 years! Good Luck.

JodyJay over 6 years ago

Public spaces that allow for recreation is a way to create an active, safe, engaging community. Also implementing all seasonal elements within the City is important. I would love to see an outdoor skating area that is a public space in the winter and also a place for the market in the summer - I'd like to see a network for cycling throughout the City that gives room for cyclists (trees/sidewalk between cars and bikes) I'd like to have an indoor running track to access (since snow plowing on side roads doesn't allow for winter running). An improved transit (light rail system) to assist residents in getting to the beaches (Improving outdoor space around the lakes). Floating or docks that are public spaces will allow us to access/use the lakes more fluidly. The current pools/saunas are very well used - a great facility.

kimbofulla over 6 years ago

Skiing, biking, hiking, swimming
Keeps us healthy, better for a community to be biking and walking to work. NOT DRIVING!!!
We need a new pool, its old and not inviting and an outdoor lap pool (like in an area beside the peanut pool in lakeview park). A new rec center would be amazing.
We need bike lanes and walking lanes everywhere! Especially to the hospital. Its employs most of Vernon and everyone drives because they are afraid to walk and cycle up hospital hill. A nice access and it would encourage healthy lifestyles to and from work. Too many people drive and it is a city with weather that is good for activities outdoors all year, theres no excuse not to walk to work except lack of access and bike lanes.
This city could be so much better! Please help!

Shairsine over 6 years ago

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Troy over 6 years ago

1. cultural: art gallery, live theatre, movies, exhibits (museum), talks, etc.
2. intellectual stimulation, lifestyle, balance
3. more funding for art gallery and museum. Willing to pay more taxes for these!

Gainfully retired over 6 years ago

As a senior who needs to exercise in water I have found that the water in the pool is far too cold. Indeed it is cooler than the pools children and babies learn in in Vancouver and clearly cooler than rehabilitation pools. Even the warmer river pool is too cold and not deep enough. We have complained about this for years, and given the number of seniors who don't play hockey, don't run on tracks, have trouble walking, don't ski, and can't bike there is precious little for us to do. I suggest you look closely at the water temperature of actual rehabilitation pools and allow one of the motels nearby to open their pool for public use so we can get our exercise at recreation centre rates. I believe this pool is several degrees colder than learning pools in Vancouver, you need to do some research, and turn up the heat. As well for those of us who still work the pool needs to be available early in the morning ie 6-6:30 and no hotel pools are open at that time. Moving to Vancouver is hardly the option, and busing to Kelowna is ridiculous.

Jane Wakefield over 6 years ago

1. My family is very active and we take part in a number of activities daily. We live in Coldstream and hike, bike and swim in Kal Park regularly. We spend much of our summer in Creekside park playing soccer, walking in the dog park and playing at the skatepark. My son plays hockey with the Rec centre program and we are pass holders and ski/snowboard/skate and snowshoe every weekend during the winter. My son plays soccer, futsul, music, biking, snowboarding. My daughter partakes in gymnastics, soccer, dance, biking, musical theatre and snowboarding.
2. Recreation is a critical part of both raising a healthy family to coming together and enjoying nature as well as exercise.
3. I think Vernon/Coldstream is in desperate need of another pool/rec centre. My children rarely swim in Vernon any longer due to the lack of facilities/ times available for recreation use. Sadly we drive to Kelowna to partake in this sort of activity. A skating rink in Coldstream would be wonderful. I think that we should flood and refrigerate the Creekside park rink for winter activities. Lastly I would love to see a community centre in Coldstream (Perhaps in creekside park or as well or Sovereign park?). A place for community to gather for things such as classes, yoga, scouts, markets and weddings (for revenue) etc. This would bring a HEART to our community.
Thank you!

Laura Kelder over 6 years ago

1. My favorite recreational activity is in the summer swimming in the lake, eating by the lake, anything by the lake :) and in the winter attending shows - theatre, musical, dance.

2. Our society is so work oriented and it is key to have a healthy emotional and physical state to do something that provides fun, family time and relaxation. When we are less stressed, we are better parents, brothers, sisters, students, members of our community.

3. A community theatre is required. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Morning Star a few months back and it was very well received by many readers. I ask to seriously consider this.
Also to have a more public friendly/established/commercial water front at either Kal and/or Okanagan Lake.
I know both have their challenges, but they are both areas that would not only improve our community greatly, but also bring in dollars.
https://www.vernonmorningstar.com/opinion/theatre-needed/

Thank you!

justjudyr over 6 years ago

1) Swimming, Aquafit, walking (preferable on a beach)
2) Better heath and mobility in my senior years
3) Definitely need a new, larger pool for adult programs. I spent 12 weeks doing Aquafit at the existing pool, but it was too crowded due to multiple programs being run at the same time. Also, being surrounded by screaming kids made it impossible to hear the instructor.

acuttabove over 6 years ago

1. Swimming, Skating, Hiking, Day camps.
2. Ensuring that my kids and family stay active, healthy and learn important skills.
3. We need another pool facility. The pool at the rec centre, while fun for kids, is far too crowded. The facility is too small for the large number of people that use it. Children's swimming lessons are often restricted to the end of a narrow lane while Public Swimming is taking place all around. The kid's shallow pool is often over crowded, the hot tub is constantly full, and there is never enough room for Parents to sit and watch their kids swim and the change room situation is really difficult for families. I don't think we need a big fancy 'H20' type facility, but maybe a swimming facility that offers something for the adults to use, larger hot tub & sauna, bigger lap pool, maybe deeper with different diving heights, and then perhaps the current pool at the rec centre be left for kids/family programs and special needs programs.

KaiAma over 6 years ago

Our favourite recreational activities are dog-walking, hiking, walking along linear pathways, biking along pathways, mountain biking and hiking. We also enjoy going to the beach when it is not busy.
Recreation is important to us because it keeps us busy, doing things together as a family, enjoying exercise, fresh air and it is affordable.
To improve recreation in the area, better or more beach access is needed as our population grows. More linear walkways to connect areas of town, especially from down town through to Anderson Way and from down town to Polson Park. More city parks and cultural districts are needed. People like to wander, people watch, patron cafes and entertainment.
Kelowna's down town has done a fantastic job tying in their city park and boardwalk with access to their down town and cultural district and venues. People can bike from far away into Kelowna's down town and City Park.
So, I would say that more non-vehicle connectivity in needed in Vernon.

sherilynnaustin over 6 years ago

1. I love hiking, my kids love swimming at the Rec Centre, and we all love swimming in Kal Lake.
2. Being outdoors, especially among trees, is so pleasant and peaceful.
3. Washrooms in parks should be open extended hours, all seasons, as people use parks in winter to, and our winters are very mild. And at least one outhouse at each trailhead. (BX creek for example)

tdanford over 6 years ago

1. Swimming, Biking, Running, Hiking, Lake time, Walking.
2. Keeping an active lifestyle for physical and mental health.
3. A 50m swimming pool with proper family facilities. (Check out the recreation center in Yorkton, SK). Multiuse pathways that are protected from traffic. Baseball/Soccer diamonds needs to allow food trucks. An indoor walking/running track to be utilized in icy winter months (ie: allow running on Kal Tire track). Make Polson Park safe and usable. Develop waterfront public areas with commercial restaurants, shopping, food trucks, etc.

teribrack over 6 years ago