Ever wondered how often your local park gets mowed? What's involved in trail grooming, tree maintenance, invasive species management, and keeping creeks healthy? How are decisions made about new features like washrooms, water parks, fields, courts or play equipment?
We've been hosting Parks Walks
We invited the community to join us for a walk in the park with Gord + Gord, Colwood Parks Foreman Gord Beauvillier and Councillor Gordie Logan.
Both Gords are always excited to hear about your experience of our local parks, answer questions, share information and talk about what the future holds for parks and trails in Colwood as outlined in the City's new Parks & Recreation Master Plan.
In 2021, the City is creating Parks Management Plans for three parks: Ocean View Park, Lookout Lake Park and Colwood Creek Park. So we started there!
What we heard at Colwood Creek Park on Thursday, July 8, 2021
Resident: When was the last time the creek had a clean out?
Parks Foreman: Great question, the last full clean up was completed in 2015. The window to work in the creek itself and what the crew is allowed to do is quite limited. The main concern right now is Yellow Flag Iris, an invasive species that has been spreading through the creek area. The City is working with CRD Invasive Species Team to find the best way to tackle this invasive problem.
Resident: A better washroom facility is needed at this park, is that a possibility?
Parks Foreman: Absolutely that is a possibility and has been identified as an option to consider in the Parks & Recreation Master Plan, staff have been researching potential options and we'll be further exploring bathroom and change room options in the Parks Management Plan.
Resident: Is there a way to make the pergola more functional, maybe add a roof of some type?
Parks Foreman: We have had a few comments about the lack of shade in this park and making some slight changes to this pergola would be a great idea to address that. The pergola was funded by a $5000 Community Infrastructure Grant from the Western Communities Foundation, thanks to an application submitted by Andrea Ferrie, Branch Manager at the local West Shore Coast Capital Insurance Services.
Resident: How did that large willow tree fall down?
(Willow tree on the Cecil Blogg side of the park had fallen the day before)
Parks Foreman: The extreme heat and drought we are experiencing has really taken a toll on our trees. This willow is a wet water tree, moisture in the hardwood can actually cause the tree trunk to crack during the extreme heat and we suspect that is what has happened here. As you'll see as we continue walking some of the smaller trees are also struggling, this area is not irrigated and is usually so wet, we hope the trees will snap back to health when we start to get some rain once again.
Resident: There are sometimes disagreements between dog owners and non-dog owners at this park, is there anyway to help this?
Parks Foreman: This is a great conversation to begin having ahead of the Park Management Plan for this park. We are open to exploring options that will make all park users comfortable and able to enjoy whichever amenities they are here for. It's important as dog owners to always ensure dogs are under control, picked up after, and that they stay out of the playground and riparian areas (as marked with signage). If you have any specific thoughts to share around this convcersation I encourage you to share them at LetsTalkColwood.ca/OurParks.
Colwood Creek Facts from Parks Foreman, Gord
Colwood Creek Park is built on an old gravel pit. It's an important and diverse riparian area with a fish bearing stream. Water travels from Glen Lake and makes its way through Colwood to the bird sanctuary at Esquimalt Lagoon. Rain water also collects in this park after flowing down from Triangle Mountain. This can cause a bit of a challenge with drainage during particularly wet times of year, you may have seen in the past portions of the trail partially underwater.
Ideas from the community for Ocean View Park in the Parks & Recreation Master Plan
With significant input from the public, the City of Colwood adopted its first Parks & Recreation Master plan in 2021.
Some of the ideas expressed for Colwood Creek Park include:
- A permanent bathroom/change room structure.
- Covered and expanded picnic area.
- Dog off-leash area
- Playground upgrades including inclusive play options.
- Improved park lighting and signage.
- Riparian/habitat enhancement.
Read the full Colwood Parks & Recreation Master Plan with a section specific to Ocean View Park on pages 112-114.