- BC Games
Pier Park to serve up beach volleyball
New Westminster's beach bums are about to get their own playground.
But this one won't be for tanning or frolicking in the Fraser.
The city is installing two beach volleyball courts in the southwest corner of the Timber Wharf, the expanse of hardtop east of Pier Park. The courts are the first tangible result of a consultation process that polled the public for ideas of how to put the paved wharf to use. They're expected to be ready for play by the weekend.
"There was some sentiment out there to try to get something," said the city's director of parks and recreation Dean Gibson.
Wednesday, early morning joggers were turned back by fencing blocking access to the wharf as 70 truck loads of specialized sand were dumped into place, then raked by work crews. When completed the volleyball beach will be 16-18 inches thick, oriented lengthwise along the wharf to minimize the chances of a stray spike splashing into the Fraser, although, said Gibson, "it's not inconceivable that the odd ball may find it's way into the river."
While summer is winding down, Gibson is hopeful there's enough weeks of good weather still to come that they'll become a popular addition to the variety of activities already being enjoyed at the park.
"I think it's going to fit in with some of the things that are evolving at the park," said Gibson. "There's an interesting mix of activities going on there, especially after work hours."
Construction had to wait for a structural assessment of the wharf to determine if it could bear the weight of the sand and where to place the courts. That process was completed at the end of July, and some of its findings will help chart further development of the area, said Gibson, who's preparing for a presentation to city council in September.
Poles and nets will also be installed at the courts, which will be available for anyone to use. As yet Gibson said he hasn't received any enquiries from organized leagues.
"At this stage they're for leisure use," said Gibson, adding an open house will likely be held on Aug. 31 to introduce the courts and the sport of beach volleyball.