The Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society is reminding park-users that damaging plants or removing mushrooms or anything else from the park is against Saanich bylaws. (Photo courtesy Darrell Wick)

The Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society is reminding park-users that damaging plants or removing mushrooms or anything else from the park is against Saanich bylaws. (Photo courtesy Darrell Wick)

Mushroom pickers disregard bylaws for Mount Douglas Park

Park-users cannot damage plants, remove things from greenspace, advocate says

Mushroom thieves have targeted the fungi in Mount Douglas Park despite municipal bylaws that ban activities that damage trees or taking things out of the parks.

Volunteers with the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society are once again spotting people harvesting mushrooms from trees and stumps in the damper parts of the park and Darrell Wick, president of the advocate group, has a number of concerns.

Despite the warnings that park-users are “not allowed to take anything out of the park” or damage the plants, it happens all the time, he said.

READ ALSO: Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

Wick noted he has caught more than one person with entire bags of harvested mushrooms. Some try to justify their actions by pointing out that picking mushrooms spreads the spores and more will grow back, or say that they didn’t know about the bylaw, but no matter the reason, it’s against Saanich bylaws, he said.

Wick added that removing the mushrooms also deprives everyone else from seeing the wild fungi, which is disappointing because “they’re beautiful.”

The District of Saanich website outlines the rules of proper park etiquette. Mount Douglas Park visitors are asked to be respectful of the fragile ecosystem, “take nothing but photographs, [and] leave nothing but footprints.”

Megan Catalano, communications manager for Saanich, emphasized that the district doesn’t encourage picking mushrooms in any of the municipal parks.

READ ALSO: Island Health issues warning after death cap mushrooms found in Greater Victoria

Picking mushrooms in the parks violates Saanich’s Parks Management and Control Bylaw which states that no person without authorized permission should “cut, break, injure, remove or in any way destroy or damage” plants, soil or playground equipment in parks or on beaches, Catalano explained.

The bylaw also states that no unauthorized person can remove or dig up matter from Saanich parks.

“It is different than fruit picking because fruit picking doesn’t injure the tree or plant whereas picking a lot of mushrooms can affect the long-term health and growth of the plant,” she said.

Wick also pointed out that an individual may feel that taking one or two mushrooms for themselves won’t make a difference, but if everyone shared that mentality and took something from the park, there’d be nothing left.

READ ALSO: Victoria toddler dies after ingesting poisonous mushroom

Not only is mushroom picking a bylaw violation, but it can also pose health risks. Island Health and the BC CDC issue annual warnings about the dangers of death cap mushrooms which “are troublesome because they look like other safe edible mushrooms,” but can be deadly, Catalano explained.

In 2016, a three-year-old Victoria toddler died after ingesting a death cap mushroom in downtown Victoria.

“We strongly encourage residents to not eat mushrooms that they can’t identify.”

For more information on death cap mushrooms, visit bccdc.ca.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanichparks

 

This tree stump in Mount Douglas Park was damaged after mushroom harvesters picked it clean. (Photo courtesy Darrell Wick)

This tree stump in Mount Douglas Park was damaged after mushroom harvesters picked it clean. (Photo courtesy Darrell Wick)

Just Posted

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

Emergency health services treated a person after they were blocking traffic at the intersection of Fort and Douglas Streets on June 17. (Evert Lindquist/ News Staff)
Victoria intersection traffic returns to normal after protester blocked roadway

A person in a motorized wheelchair was blocking the intersection at Fort and Douglas Streets

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

With local high schoolers unable to have a traditional graduation ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions, Amica Douglas House celebrated the momentous occasion of eight of their dining room servers. (Courtesy Amica Douglas House)
8 Greater Victoria teens don fancy dresses, celebrate grad with seniors

With celebrations nixed, Amica Douglas House hosts event for its serving staff

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read