Margaret Lidkea

Kiosk to promote resident stewardship

Friends of Uplands Park information initiative comes to fruition

The Friends of Uplands Park will celebrate Tree Appreciation Day with the official unveiling of the kiosk near the park’s Beach Drive entrance.

“We would like the public to celebrate,” said Margaret Lidkea, co-chair of Friends of Uplands Park. “The kiosk was a vision of Friends of Uplands Park. It’s been slow going but we are volunteers, and we want to make it right.”

The idea appeared in 2011 and comes to fruition Nov. 2 under an $18,000 budget with multiple funding sources.

“We’ll have representatives of contributors and, because it’s also Tree Day, we will be doing some planting,” Lidkea said.

The book-shaped four-panel kiosk features Briony Penn watercolours to convey the importance of different elements of the Garry oak ecosystem, some that may surprise guests to the park.

For example: “Everybody complains about the mud puddles but these are very special ecosystems,” Lidkea said.

The Friends’ mission statement after all, is to create opportunities for stewardship, education and inspiration. So the signage will offer insight on the 76-acre park that includes Cattle Point.

“It’s just about educating people,” said Kevin Webber, of Friends of Uplands Park. “That, of course, leads to better stewardship.”

The official kiosk launch and Tree Appreciation Day in Oak Bay is Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon at the entrance of Beach Drive.