The City of White Rock has been successful in applying to Peace Arch Hospital Foundation for a grant to fund a splash pad at Generations Playground at Centennial Park.

Mayor Megan Knight announced at the May 27 council meeting that the city has received approval – for up to $100,000 under the PAHF’s Healthy Communities grant program – to install the pad. This healthy communities grant was made possible thanks to a generous estate gift (gift in will) made by Denis and Yvonne Blakely, who shared a love of children and wanted to make a lasting impact on their local community.

“We are deeply grateful for Denis and Yvonne Blakely’s generous gift,” says Stephanie Beck, Peace Arch Hospital Foundation’s CEO. “Their contribution is a testament to their vision and compassion, ensuring their legacy will continue to touch countless lives. The addition of the splash pad at Generations Playground will not only enhance Centennial Park, but also inspire future generations to cherish and support their community.”

Splash pads (also known as spray pools) are recreation areas that allow users to play and interact with water safely, with little or no standing water, eliminating need for lifeguards or other supervision. Moreover, with the onset of rising local temperatures and heat events such as heat domes, the splash pad will offer a much-needed cooling respite for families, contributing to the health and well-being of all who visit. This consideration was a key reason why the Foundation’s Grants Committee approved the project, recognizing the urgent need for such amenities in our growing community. Given the timing of the grant funding, it’s unlikely the splash pad will be installed before 2025.

The Generations Playground, opened in September 2018 as a joint project by the PAHF, the City of White Rock and White Rock Firefighters’ Charity Association, provides a playground and green space for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the outdoors with safety, dignity and independence.

Small children, youth, adults, seniors and those using personal assistive devices such as walkers and wheelchairs are all welcomed at the park, which offers a range of activities that are intuitive and easy to understand, providing uninhibited access and flexibility in use.

“I have to congratulate staff on delivering a successful grant presentation,” Knight said at the meeting.

“I believe we should be seeing the splash pad up by next summer – a big thank you to the (foundation) for its generous contribution, and to staff for doing so well.”