This Sunday, Sept. 26, is the 17th anniversary of the official opening of the Fred Gingell Park stairs, and public access to Tsawwassen Beach.
It is hard to believe that it has been around long enough to be a fixture in Tsawwassen. After a lengthy COVID closure, thankfully the stairs and trail were re-opened on May 28 and the public usage has never been greater.
The beach trail is one of the most popular and used public amenities in all of Delta, giving a great route down to one of the most beautiful western beaches in Canada.
It has varied and regular users from the community including grandparents with young grandchildren, high school and elementary students, even professional athletes working on team training, adults of all ages making it integral to their fitness and health, families, friends and Tsawwassen visitors.
It is interesting now to think back and remember the opposition and bitter controversy that surrounded gaining this access, and this resource, and how it divided the community for a time.
Happily, that is now just a memory for some, while most users today are not even aware that it was a very big deal. Politics is always temporary, community prevails.
We encourage everyone to get out on the trail and celebrate the 17th anniversary; build up a sweat, go for a walk on the beach, and never take for granted that you can do this freely.
For those who work to enhance and help progress in the community, please use the Fred Gingell Park beach stairs as a marker and encouragement to be patient, be persistent, and never give up.
Bob and Donna Bracken
Tsawwassen Beach Access Association