Community seeks to save Eldon Ross Pool

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/01/2020 (1051 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

My fellow Trekkies out there will be familiar with the quote, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”

While this school of thought may be useful in planning infrastructure on the larger scale, it is not always beneficial in the development of individual communities.  

What makes Winnipeg special is that we also respect the needs of the few and  endeavour to provide everyone with the same quality of life within some very distinctive neighbourhoods.

Photo by Wanda Prychitko Passionate community members gathered at Brooklands School on Jan. 14 to share how Eldon Ross Pool has affected their families.

Brooklands is one of those exceptional areas. This pocket community is indeed unique, bordered by King Edward Street, Logan Avenue, Keewatin Street and Notre Dame Avenue. It is home to

Brooklands Elementary School and nearby Eldon Ross Swimming Pool, which has been flagged by the City for possible closure this year.

You may wonder why I mention an area so far removed from St. James, but Brooklands School is actually in the St.James-Assiniboia School Division.

The school was the location of a community meeting last week which saw  local politicians, community support program workers and 60 citizens discuss the importance of Eldon Ross Pool.

Kamjit said that the pool programs gave her family “the opportunity to meet neighbours and learn the language.”

Janice is one of many area seniors who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the facility and the warm water, and who would not be able to manage the two busses necessary to reach the next-closest pool. I also heard from youth who look forward to visiting the pool all year-round, within walking distance of their homes.

Over the years, Brooklands residents have lost their community club, hockey rinks and library, leaving Eldon Ross Pool as the only recreational facility in the area. This lone site attracts patrons from the Brooklands, Tyndall Park and Weston neighbourhoods, spanning generations of young families.

Consider what we hear in the news every day — increasing numbers of youth involved in gangs, drugs, petty crime and worse.  Active, responsible kids who are proud of their neighbourhoods are less likely to get involved in harmful activities, which can be measured in dollars and cents by being less of a drain on our health care and justice systems.  But it cannot be just about the money.
This neighbourhood doesn’t need another support taken away. If anything, it needs more options available to create connections, and strengthen and give hope to the community. We need to encourage current and newcomer families citywide to take advantage of our wonderful pools, libraries, community clubs, parks and skating rinks.  

Urge your neighbours to make good use of our city’s assets, and make your voice heard if your neighbourhood is in danger of losing them.

The lifeguard in me also wants to remind our elected officials of the importance of water safety education. All families must be afforded a reasonable opportunity to learn water safety.

If you have been moved by any of my words, please share your thoughts with Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You should tag @mayorbrianbowman, @Vivs204, @leahgazanmp,  @cityofwinnipeg and use the hashtag  #saveeldonrosspool.

Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact wprychitko@yahoo.ca

Wanda Prychitko

Wanda Prychitko
St. James-Assiniboia community correspondent

Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia.

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