A new outdoor natural swimming pool first proposed by the Vancouver Park Board last year could be built somewhere along the Fraser River as part of the City-wide ‘VanSplash’ review of renewing and expanding the availability of recreational aquatic facilities.
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Such a natural pool would differ from existing pool technologies used by the municipality as instead of chlorine, it would use plants from an attached basin to treat the water.
It would be similar to Minneapolis’ Webber Natural Swimming Pool, which opened in 2015 at a cost of $7 million and is the first public swimming facility in North America to use plants to maintain a healthy water quality. Over 7,000 plants in an attached adjacent pool filter the swimming area’s waters.
Sites along the river, possibly as part of a new ‘destination park’, are being considered for the new natural pool as there are no nearby pools in the area, which is experiencing major population growth due to the new residential developments at River District and around Marine Drive Station.
“The neighbourhoods near the Fraser are historically underserved when it comes to swimming options. This includes safe outdoor swimming opportunities,” said the Park Board in an email to Daily Hive.
“This area is also experiencing increased density, and a pool would be located within a new destination park on the Fraser and would be a part of both the Marpole and Cambie Corridor Plans which are responding to rapid densification of the area.”
No precise site has been identified for the new natural pool, and staff are still working on cost estimates.
Additionally, a harbour deck such as the plan imagined for Coal Harbour by HCMA Architecture + Design last year is also being contemplated, but Park Board staff say further study beyond the current review is needed to determine an appropriate location.
Park Board commissioners are scheduled to discuss the review during tonight’s meeting.