One woman wants Oak Bay to expedite its revitalization timeline for Carnarvon Park, saying its condition is falling behind other parks in the community.
When Lesley Ewing visits the park she has a hard time seeing past the litter, smashed-up lacrosse box sections and overgrown weeds coming through pavement cracks.
“It’s quite ugly,” she said.
She wants the municipality to address the park’s condition sooner than the timeline laid out in the Carnarvon Park Master Plan. She contrasts Carnarvon to other Oak Bay parks, such as Windsor Park, that are in “exquisite” condition.
“Meanwhile things are left quite derelict up here at Carnarvon,” Ewing said. “To have basically 11 years of this neglect is not acceptable.”
Ewing said she’s heard from other residents in the north end of Oak Bay who share her concerns. She was also concerned about a picnic table and other equipment she saw locked in Carnarvon’s storage area instead of being put to use in other public green spaces in the community.
Ray Herman, Oak Bay parks, recreation and culture director, said the table is very old and staff are concerned about moving it due to its condition. He said they have a donation program that accepts benches and picnic tables, so residents should let the community know when they want seating options at a specific location.
|Carnarvon Park In Oak Bay. (Courtesy of Lesley Ewing)|
The municipality is making some changes to the park this year, but is sticking with the Carnarvon Park Master Plan, which includes a number of updates Oak Bay aims to complete by 2025.
“Carnarvon Park is due for a refresh,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch, in an email. “The lacrosse box, the existing tennis and pickleball court and the old multi-use building are due to be moved or replaced, and if you see them you can see why.”
Most of the park still sees active use, he said, pointing to the baseball, other sport fields and the lawn bowling green. Council approved using surplus funds to move the pickleball courts into the lacrosse box last month and Murdoch said the tennis court area will also receive some repainting. The potential to resurface the tennis courts is also being looked at, he added.
“The building which contains the public washrooms will likely remain a bit of an eyesore until it is replaced,” Murdoch said. “We certainly don’t want to get rid of it early, as the washrooms and storage are well used.”
Ewing stressed the importance of Carnarvon Park for residents in the north end of Oak Bay, saying its location is especially important for families in the area who have young children.
“This is an important park for the community.”
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