Letter to the Editor: It sounds like this consultant didn’t talk to Peachlanders..

Dear Editor,

I note the following references to Cousins Parks Slo pitch diamond from the story Everything you want to know about Peachland’s Splash Pad published in January, 2021 and again on January 24, 2022.

Nov. 13, 2018: The consultants (Fiona Barton from Outland Design Architecture) say the slo-pitch diamond at Cousins Park is undersized and under utilized as a community park. It also poses a hazard with it being so close to Beach Ave and Swim Bay. (Also interesting to note here that 48% of respondents to the consultants’ survey ranked replacement of the Turner Park ball diamonds as a priority – at a time when it was yet to be purchased by the District).

July 9, 2019 COTW: Fiona Barton from Outland Design is back to present on the Peachland Community Parks Plan. The project took place between July 2018 and March 2019. Interesting to note that preservation of the existing ball field at Cousins Park is now seen as a priority….”

There is a simple, low cost solution to the “hazard” of Cousins Park being so close to Beach Ave and Swim Bay. Simply put up a larger fence or netting in the trees at the end of right field.

The right field length at Cousins Park is the only field that is undersized. The length from home plate to the right field fence at Cousins Park is 235 feet. I know because I’ve measured it. Per Softball Canada the field length should be 275 feet. Situations like this are resolved elsewhere simply by putting up a fence or, in this case, inexpensive netting in the trees at he end of right field.

All you need to do is look at the fencing in softball fields neighbouring communities, like Summerland’s Dale Meadows Park.

If the goal is truly to reduce the current right field problem at Cousins Park, putting netting in the trees at the end of right field, the same netting that is used between softball fields in Summerland’s Dale Meadows Park, would be a lot cheaper and more practical than paying for another consultant report.

I suggest that simply talking to one of the 165 Peachland adults who play league softball in Peachland would have come up with this solution years ago.

No one with any softball or Community background would seriously propose removing Cousins Park as a softball field. It is one of the most beautiful softball fields in the Okanagan valley, a Peachland tourist attraction when viewed from Highway 97, and was named after the legendary Peachland family Cousins softball team in a dedication ceremony hosted by the Premier of the Province.

And yes, the 50+ Centre can expand to accommodate other user groups, per the Hub project, without impacting the Cousins Park softball field. So let’s get rid of that elephant in the room right now too. It is 332 feet to left field scoreboard and 313 feet to the 50+ Centre from Cousins home plate. You only need 275 feet and 300 feet is ideal. Just put fencing at the end of the field.

Randey Brophy, Peachland

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Written by Kristen Friesen

January 27, 2022

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