Anonymous donation secures Whitecroft playground site

The association has been fundraising for over seven years and will start preparing the site this summer.
A wooden frame has a sign hanging from it that says "Welcome to Whitecroft Village." The sign is in front of a field with mountains in the background and a blue sky.
Association members have been working open a playground for over seven years. The idea was initially spearheaded by Bill Brock, a Whitecroft resident who passed away in 2020. File photo.

The Whitecroft Community Association officially owns land for a playground near Louis Creek.

Whitecroft resident and association president Michelle Landry told SPIN the association received a donation of almost two acres of land for the park from an anonymous donor. 

The land transfer was finalized last year and Landry told SPIN the donation came with three stipulations. 

The first is the park will be named Nancy Wilson Park after a longtime community member who passed away. The second requirement is that the land belongs to the community in perpetuity through the community association and Whitecroft’s Water Society. 

“The two organizations own the land, so if one dissolves, the other one will take it, and vice versa,” Landry explained.

The third requirement is that the park’s land be fenced in because ranchland surrounds the area.

Association members have been working to open a community playground for over seven years. The idea was initially spearheaded by Bill Brock, a Whitecroft resident who passed away in 2020.

In addition to playground equipment, organizers want the Whitecroft playground land to include a basketball and tennis court. They’ve also asked for kids’ input into the design and have had requests for a bike pump track.

The organization hopes to hold outdoor concerts on the land as well.

Fundraising ongoing

While having land secured is a major milestone, organizers still have a ways to go before they can break ground on the site.

The expected cost for the playground will be $250,000. So far, the association has collected $12,000 in donations from a bottle drive and the TNRD previously donated $1,435.

Association member Katy Wyatt is spearheading fundraising for the playground. She explained there are now multiple fundraisers in play with the goal of developing the space this year. 

A pub night is slated for May 25 at Bottoms and will include live music, a silent auction and a 50/50 draw. Local businesses have provided items from the silent auction.

Poster for Whitecroft’s upcoming playground fundraiser on May 25, 2023. Photo provided.

Another funding source came from stickers made by Wyatt and a friend with the words “slow rolling” and pitchfork on them.

Inspiration for the design came from social media posts about a van driving slowly or “slow rolling” through the community that left residents concerned about properties being surveilled for theft.

The design represents people in a small town getting their pitchforks out.

“It was a community social media comment gone horribly right,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt sold out of the stickers — with all proceeds going towards the park — and was asked to start making clothing with the design. T-shirts designed by Red Tree Designs also sold out.

Wyatt said the Whitecroft playground was only possible with the support of business owners in Sun Peaks who have volunteered their time to work on the project.

The organization is looking to start a GoFundMe page soon to garner additional donations.

Groundbreaking starts this year

Development on the playground will start this summer, beginning with excavation, weeding and fencing. 

Landry explained that Keith Lyall, Sun Peaks Golf Club’s superintendent, will be the playground’s development superintendent.

Organizers hope to complete the playground in two years.

Wyatt said Whitecroft experiences more seasonal variation than other communities in the area, so children and adults from Sun Peaks will be able to access the park when outdoor recreation facilities in Sun Peaks are still covered with snow.

“There’s more opportunity to go outside and play in the shoulder season for everyone if we have that space.”

Editor’s note, April 27, 2023: A previous version of this article said the former mayor of Kamloops, Mel Rothenburger, donated $1,435. The donation was made through the TNRD when Rothenburger was the regional director for the TNRD.

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