Nora Cashato, 12, organized a petition to preserve the Fort Langley Outdoor Pool after she learned about its coming closure from her mother, Rachelle. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

12-year-old petitions to preserve neighbourhood pool

Local youth will take her case to council next Monday

A 12-year-old Fort Langley girl has gathered thousands of signatures on a petition to keep the community’s outdoor swimming pool from being replaced.

“I probably went almost every night in the summer,” said Nora Cashato, who set up the “Save the Fort Langley outdoor pool!” petition last week.

It already has more than 2,640 signatures online as of this Wednesday, and Nora also spent time getting paper signatures at the Fort Langley farmers market on the weekend.

Nora isn’t a competitive swimmer, she just enjoyed hanging out at the pool with her friends and her younger sister Cara, ever since her family moved to the Fort two years ago.

She learned about the pool’s planned replacement when she heard her mother Rachelle talking about it with some friends.

The pool is one of the few amenities in the Fort that is fun for kids her age, Nora said.

“Splash parks are great for little kids, but there’s nowhere for older kids,” she said.

She’ll be taking her petition with her to Township council on Monday, when she’s scheduled to speak as a delegate.

A request for information on the decision to replace the pool was answered with a Township of Langley statement on the pool and the replacement.

“The new park amenities will replace the almost 60-year-old Fort Langley Outdoor Pool, which in recent years has only opened 2.5 months per year due to recurring maintenance and operational issues,” the statement said.

A recent assessment of the pool found it was “past the end of its useful life,” the statement said, and didn’t meet several current codes and standards, and presents safety concerns.

READ MORE: Langley Township outdoor pools shut down multiple times

It’s also very expensive to replace a pool.

The short opening for the pool also meant attendance was down 21 per cent last year, according to the Township.

The Township plans to complete the replacement by the summer of 2021, including a spray park and other amenities.

An open house on the replacement is planned, but a date was not provided.

The Fort Langley Pool is one of the few old-style outdoor public pools left in Langley. The Aldergrove Pool, which was also aging and had suffered from maintenance issues, was closed before the larger Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience pool and water park complex at the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre opened. The “lake” in Aldergrove Lake Regional Park was filled in several years ago, and the park changed its name.

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