A $400,000 rejuvenation project couldn’t save what many believe to be the prime attraction at Bright Angel Park.
It’s not the suspension bridge over the Koksilah River, or the updated trails, the new playground or even the picnic spots and other upgrades that make Bright Angel a unique hotspot for summer swimmers – it is, and has been for years, the rope swing.
And now it’s gone. "A sad day for us yesterday at Bright Angel Park," explained Katrina Grounds, a who’d brought her family there on Sunday.
"To break up a boring day yesterday, I took two of my children to Bright Angel. It’s always a favourite spot for us. Our son will spend two straight hours, swinging off the rope swing."
Apart from sleeping in, she said, the rope swing is the absolute best part of his summer.
But the joy-inducing swing is gone. "It’s destroyed," Grounds said.
The rope is nowhere to be seen and what’s left of the branch it was attached to is floating in the river.
"So many confused and disappointed faces yesterday," Grounds said.
Joy Hachey was among those disappointed.
"Many good family memories have been had on that rope swing," she wrote on Facebook.
"I’m so sad," added park patron Jenn Constable McNutt. "We love going there."
Grounds said she could understand if the CVRD was concerned with liability and water levels and had to temporarily
take the rope down, but she doesn’t think that’s the case.
"The rope swing had been there for years and I don’t recall there ever being a problem," she said. "It hints of vandalism seeing the limb left like this."
The news came as a shock to Cowichan Valley Regional District Parks Trails Manager Brian Farquhar.
"This is the first I’ve heard of anything about it," he said Monday morning. "I’ll have to look into it."
Grounds, and likely many others, hopes the swing gets replaced.
"We are so sad that this, oh so special, part of a childhood growing up in the Cowichan Valley is lost," she said.