Thanks to Mother Nature giving the Kootenays a brief break from the deluge, Sunday afternoon at Lions Park provided a fabulous small town scene.
Parents pushed wee ones on swings, brave tweens frolicked through the spray park, a group of twenty-somethings kicked a soccer ball to each other and the newly refurbished baseball diamond was alive with the sounds of Little League.
Perhaps just another day at a small town park, but looking around at the activity going on that day one couldn’t help but be thankful for all the hard work that set the table for such an opportunity.
Lions Park has long been an Uphill refuge for parents and children to enjoy. It has seen several incarnations of playgrounds, a wading pool, a gazebo, an outdoor skating rink, a sports field and much more.
A few years back, the local Lions Club went on an ambitious fundraising campaign to bring a modern spray park to the community. Through the hard work of members and the generosity of the community, they succeeded.
Last fall the baseball diamond was overhauled. The diamond had fallen into a state of disrepair, so the Nelson Baseball Association teamed up with the City of Nelson and the Lions Club to make a significant change.
Nelson’s baseball facilities paled in comparison to those in Trail, Castlegar and Fruitvale. Hosting the Kootenays for a weekend was not an option. On Sunday that baseball diamond stood as a proud gathering place for the association as Nelson hosted the West Kootenay playoffs for the first time in many years.
To see parents lined along the baselines in their lawnchairs and kids engaged in sport on the beautiful diamond marked a turning point for baseball in this community. Thanks to the dedication of volunteers and the commitment of the City of Nelson, we now have a facility worthy of showing off.
Investing in our parks takes a significant community effort. The fruits of that labour can now be seen at Lions Park and provide one more impressive focal point for community pride.