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VIDEO: Shovels in the ground for the new DeHart Community Park

For a decade, there has been talk about a park at the corner of DeHart and Gordon in Kelowna.

Now work is underway on a park with elements that read like a menu.

Natural space, a dog park, pickleball and basketball courts, multi-use fields, a pump track for bikes, outdoor fitness equipment, a playground and children's waterplay areas, a games area, a walking loop and a re-located community garden.

"A beautifully updated design that will address the needs and wants of the entire community," was how Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas described it to the crowd assembled for the Tuesday morning groundbreaking.

The park aims to get about as close as you can to having something for everybody.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"It was extremely important for this to be able to hit all of the notes," said Dyas.

Parks aren't what they used to be and neither are the costs of building them.

The 3.74 hectare DeHart Community Park will cost an estimated $8.6 million to develop.

The mayor went on to describe the facility as 'ambitious' and 'fun-filled'.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

"Whether you are a family looking to enjoy a new adventure playground, old friends wanting to stroll through new pathways, a sports enthusiast eager to play on the new fields, or neighbours working together to tend the community garden," said Dyas, "this new park will provide opportunities for connection."

The project is possible thanks to the City Parks Development Cost Charge program which was introduced in 2019.

Dyas said the multi-faceted design was born out of extensive consultation with the community, including the school kids from nearby Anne McClymont Elementary who were on hand with shovels for the groundbreaking.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"Communicating with them has assisted in building this design with amenities even to the point of the water park that will be in here," said Dyas.

The goal with park space these days is to draw people in, and offer activities to keep them there.

"We want to try to keep it as active as possible," he said. "It creates more activity, it creates a safer environment and allows for greater usage within the park."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

The DeHart Community Park is just one of the new facilities under development alongside others in places like Glenmore and Rutland.

It was one of the students on hand for today's event who asked how many parks Kelowna has.

After confirming with staff, Mayor Dyas was able to say Dehart Community Park is number 234 for Kelowna.

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