Lakeside Rotary Park has been the home of various community activities over the years. From the site of fundraising walks to one of the locations for last year’s BC Seniors’ Games, Lakeside is an important part of the community, but it doesn’t exist without the hard work of the Rotary Club.
“Rotary is about giving back to the community,” said Natural Choice Pharmacy’s Mark McBride who has been a member of Rotary for three years. “Rotarians give back both locally and internationally. Lakeside Park, I think, is a great example of a highly used facility the city. As a volunteer organization looking to contribute to the vibrancy of our city and something that would attract people to our city, we see Lakeside Park as a great project to be involved with.”
Over the last three years Rotary has been working at updating one important feature at Lakeside, the wharf.
The original wharf was first constructed in 1995 with the help of Rotary president Gordon Burns and many other Rotarians.
“We have to have boat and water access,” said Burns who is also a contractor with Nelco Marine who is building the park’s new wharf. “Everyone has the right to access the lake and failing that launch there you’d have to go to 12 Mile to launch a boat. It’s a primary resource for tourism and the community at large. There’s no facility like that.”
The old dock was built out of cedar, which had become water logged and began to sink and deteriorate.
“Things have changed so much in the dock industry,” said Burns. “Cedar logs were readily available and now cedar is a premium. They are not as readily available. There is better technology today.”
The better technology used in the construction of the new wharf includes some of the best environmentally friendly materials available.
“The new technology is environmentally-friendly floatation closed-cell bead, HDPE encasement foam,” said Burns.
“The structure itself is hotbed-galvanized steel. The decking is environmentally-friendly PVC coated steel deck, which probably has a life expectancy of 50 years. The floatation has a life expectancy of 50 years as well.”
The construction of the new wharf was made possible through equal financial contributions from the City of Nelson and the Nelson Rotary Club, as well as the other major sponsors being the Columbia Basin Trust, which has provided over $11,000, Shambhala Music Festival, which donated $1,000, and the Kootenay Launch Club at $1,400.
The total cost of the project is $77,440 (plus HST).
“Lakeside Park is a bit of a centerpiece in terms of the community,” said McBride. “From the beach over to the wharf is very densely used, we see it fulfilling more roles than just a place to tie and launch boats.”
The wharf is one of many projects that the Rotary has done in Lakeside Park including at one time an outdoor swimming pool, the centennial fountain, the picnic shelter, adventure playground, entrance archway and barbecues.
While the City handles the day-to-day maintenance of the park, Rotary works in conjunction with the City of Nelson on the shared vision of the park.
“Rotary has been instrumental in projects like right now with the dock, but also with the playground area, the shelter and barbecue areas were Rotary commitments,” said McBride. “Rotary also maintains Rotary Point down by the soccer fields. Rotarians every year put in time to up keep the park and maintain our structures we’ve put in place.”