Letters: Paddlers have concerns in Penticton

We’d just like to remind council, Trio, and the citizens of Penticton that our community of paddlers are here and concerned.

The present day Skaha Lake boathouse, an old, nondescript building near the boat ramp and children’s splash pad at Skaha Lake Park supports close to 400 local paddlers.

This includes both dragon boat and outrigger clubs — including juniors, seniors, persons with a disability and Survivorship, the South Okanagan Breast Cancer survivor team. Our membership and need for boat storage space continues to grow.

Each September that boathouse, and the surrounding Skaha Lake Park, welcome close to 2,500 athletes for Penticton’s biggest sporting event — The Penticton Dragon Boat Festival (PDBF). From late April through October, hundreds of paddlers come to paddle and compete on Skaha Lake. Paddling in Penticton has a long history from that old building and we hope that it has a bright future regardless of the outcome of ongoing Skaha Park negotiations.

We’d just like to remind council, Trio, and the citizens of Penticton that our community of paddlers are here, and are concerned about the future of our facility, the large, vibrant community it supports, and the many events it hosts over the summer. The PDBF alone carries an economic impact of $2.3 million for our city.

Don Mulhall

Launa Maundrell

Penticton Dragon Boat Festival Society

Penticton Racing Canoe Club