The aging French Street Park in Annable has received a modern do-over and become the area’s first All Sport Park. Enclosed in pressure treated wood, the grounds support all kinds of play, including basketball, a net for badminton or volleyball, nets for soccer and hockey and in the rink, the area can be used for a skating rink. (From left) The park has already received two thumbs up from five-year old Vinnie Ferraro, Kinsley Audia, 8, Kenny Ferraro, 5, and five-year old Kole Audia.

First All Sport Park is ready for play

The new play area is located in Annable’s French Street Park

An oft-overlooked Annable park is now a show stopper after a $74,000 makeover.

French Street Park has become the area’s first All Sport Park, and is already a game-changer for recreation in Warfield and the bedroom community of Annable.

“(This) is the only park in Annable, so it’s nice to give it a refresh and something for both kids and adults to enjoy,” says Warfield Mayor Diane Langman.

“It is an All Sport Park, so that means they can play hockey, badminton, basketball, volleyball, and pickleball,” she added. “Really, it’s for everything … it’s a neat looking little park and the first of it’s kind in the area!”

The project came in on budget with a huge boost from Columbia Basin Trust (Trust). Last fall, Warfield was the recipient of a $52,800 grant through the Trust’s Recreation Infrastructure program.

Village council had applied for the funding after a 2015 Youth Forum revealed that kids wanted to see a pump track in Warfield as well as the refinishing of the French Street Park basketball court.

Both family-related projects are now in use, though a grand opening for the Annable facility is still in the works.

The pump track was constructed in Beaver Bend (just off Forrest Drive) last June and has been a popular exercise spot ever since.

Another undertaking, this one involving sun shades at Warfield Centennial Pool, is now complete after unexpected delays had swimmers seeking temporary shelter from the rays during June and July.

“The sun shades were part of a large grant we received in 2015 through the Canada 150 Grant (50 per cent funding) and the Trust (25 per cent funding),” said Langman.

“We were able to spread the grant over a two year period, so in 2016 we did the condensing boiler unit, pool basin repairs and a new pool cover.”

The 2017 part of the grant was directed into permanent shade structures and pool deck repairs.

“The project came in on budget, however it did take far longer than we anticipated,” said Langman.

“We had ordered the shade structures back in April and they finally arrived the first week in August … We heard from a lot of people about the sun shades because we have had one of the hottest summers ever and while our pool is a gem, it is a hot spot for sure.”

Langman says thanks to the Warfield public works crew and summer students, the shade structures were built as soon as the village received them and they are now out on the pool deck.

“That made our pool patrons very happy when they saw those structures going in,” she added. “In total there are five shade structures and they are all across the end of the pool deck closest to the highway.”

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