The Ray Brydon Park is officially open, after the District of Invermere held a grand opening on Tuesday, August 21st that was complete with cookies for two-legged and four-legged guests and a bucket of tennis balls for pups to chase down the trail.
Mayor Gerry Taft, who spent six years on council with the late Ray Brydon, for whom the park is named, noted the ways Mr. Brydon contributed to the community both on and off council. Mr. Brydon volunteered extensively with the Columbia Valley Rockies, the local Legion and the Lake Windermere Lions Club.
Mr. Brydon passed away in 2016. That year he and his wife were recognized together as the Rotary Volunteer of the Year.
“It’s a great honour to be able to remember his legacy and to have this area open for the public – humans and dogs,” Mr. Taft said. “I’m just really happy that this all came together.”
Mr. Brydon’s family, furry and otherwise, attended the opening event and helped remove a tarp to reveal the new park sign.
His wife, Jan Brydon, said her husband would be “very honoured and humbled” to have the park carry his name.
“It’s just really amazing. I think he would be so thrilled,” she said. “We always brought the dogs here every day.”
His older brother, Glenn Brydon, said Ray was never after accolades and simply did whatever he could to be a good citizen.
The dog-friendly pedestrian park is located beside Toby Creek just south of the Toby Creek Road bridge.
The province indirectly provided most of the funding for the park. They gave the DOI $425,000 to address flooding concerns at Toby Creek. Because much of the work to managing flooding fit with building a park, the DOI decided to do two projects for the price of one.