Darrell Wick, president of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society, points out the places where this tree was topped in the past. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Darrell Wick, president of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society, points out the places where this tree was topped in the past. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Trees topped, greenery snatched from Saanich park

‘If everyone took one thing, there’d be nothing left,’ says president of park society

As the festive season approaches, members of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society are getting concerned about the safety of the trees in the park.

The ambassadors are in the park regularly to look after the green space – the largest urban forest in the region. Over the years, they’ve noticed that as the countdown to Christmas begins, residents come by to collect greenery to decorate their homes.

Darrell Wick, president of the society, noted people frequently take boughs for decorating and evergreen sprigs for wreaths. He also noted some trees have even been topped by people looking for a free Christmas tree.

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One slender tree, partway up the paved road to the summit, has two obvious scars marking the times it was hacked down during the past 10 years. The tree has survived and is now tall and healthy, but things could have been different, Wick said pointing to the old cut marks.

He explained that while it may seem insignificant to grab a few branches, if even half of the park’s annual visitors took something home, “there’d be nothing left.”

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Nurseries and tree lots have lots of trees and boughs to choose from at this time of year so that’s where people need to go, Wick said. No one is permitted to take anything from the park, even if it’s on the ground.

Park users aren’t allowed go off the trails or dump items such as old furniture and garden waste either, Wick added.


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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com