Just as most of us were pushing the plate of turkey away in our second helping during the holidays, the committee is literally already a third of the way there for their vision of a $330,000 spray park for the region to be situated in Confederation Park in Taber.
What stands out for the splash park initiative is it is a realistic one, given the darker economic realities of the day.
Grants are getting harder and harder to get for community projects on a provincial and federal level and so the splash pad committee has taken it upon themselves to raise its own revenue instead of getting handouts from governing bodies apart from maintenance and donation of land.
There have been recent dreams in the area of perhaps a new library, an agricultural interpretive centre, and the prospect of a new or refurbished pool for Vauxhall. All dreams that would certainly fit into the region being an increased hub of activity in southern Alberta, but unfortunately millions upon millions of dollars in comparative scope along with accompanying high levels of long-term maintenance to that of a spray park. Goals that were more realistic when oil prices were humming at its peak and pre-2008 when the financial bubble burst across the world.
But, in the economic realities of today, the Taber Spray Park is most definitely achievable and one regional residents can get behind.
There is no doubt the region is losing recreation dollars to Raymond or Coaldale spray parks as the 30-something and 40-something parents look for a way for their kids to beat the heat that is also cost attractive. The Town of Taber and M.D. of Taber are both recognizing the value of extra recreational options at low long-term costs like the upcoming prospective spray park and shooting range, motocross track, and walking trails.
The M.D. of Taber council recently passed a motion to contribute $20,000 to the project, which if completed will offer a much closer proximity to a spray park for Vauxhall and area residents than exists currently.
The more extras a town has the more likely they are to attract business and growing families to its tax base and retain its citizenry in the region at the same time to spend their hard-earned dollars.
But, the clock is ticking for the Taber Splash Pad Committee if they hope to realize their dream of opening the park by June 2014 with a deadline for fundraising set for the end of February.
It is impressive the Taber Spray Park Facebook Page has over 1,200 likes, but it is quite easy to take two seconds to hit a like button compared to actually getting your chequebook out and donating some cold-hard cash to the initiative. But donate we must. These are the types of initiatives that are achievable in our economic landscape of today which gives long-term benefits to families now and in the future, while attracting outside tourism dollars at the same time. — if every resident gave just a portion we could make a permanent splash when it comes to recreation.