Graham Shorthill

Saanich celebrates 20 years as stewards of Mount Doug

On Thursday, the district unveiled a version of the constitution engraved on a towering rock at the park’s main entrance

Twenty years ago Saanich took over ownership of Mount Douglas park and held a ceremony at the summit, revealing the park charter.

On Thursday, the district unveiled a second version of the constitution engraved on a towering rock at the park’s main entrance – part of a two-pronged approach to celebrate the park’s past and enhance its future.

Members of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society and representatives from Saanich gathered at the base of Churchill Road to recognize the success of closing the road for pedestrians until noon daily – by installing distance and elevation markers – and improving the road entrance by adding more park-like features.

The oversized charter and elevation markers now being installed are a part of the first of three thresholds intended to calm traffic on Churchill Road and add to the park atmosphere.

A new gate and a large cedar framed kiosk, including a boardwalk over Douglas Creek are planned in the next phase of enhancements for installation in the spring of 2013. Traffic calming “rumble strips” to address traffic exiting Shelbourne are also a part of the plan.

Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said the district is proud of the relationship they have with the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society.

“We’re really fortunate to have those kind of community advocates working with us and to mark the occasion,” Leonard said. “The word improvement is almost inappropriate because it’s actually about preservation. The biggest thing we’ve done is acquire the land down the slopes so that it’s not a crew cut park. That it’s a park that goes right down the slope of Mount Doug and now little Mount Doug. For the taxpayers, that’s been their contribution.”

Graham Shorthill, founding member of roughly 180-person society, measures the success of the morning Churchill Road closure by the number of walkers he meets from across the Capital Region, as well as international travellers who made a point of visiting the 188-hectare park.

“We’re always in preservation mode and any opportunity to expand the park, we take,” Shorthill said. “That’s our fundamental job: to make sure it’s in the public eye and that people value it. TThe best defence of the park is citizens getting in and using it and really showing them the value.”

Improving salmon habitat, and the trail system in an effort to get walkers off the road and into the park are the two other prime priorities, he added.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Saanich driver races to Chairman’s Trophy in Mission

Bill Okell has driven the same race car for 44 years

Local school districts gear up for the new back to school season

Seismic upgrades, inclusion and student safety are priorities

Camosun’s continuing education site a quick hit

Hundreds of courses available to launch new career opportunities

B.C. police watchdog investigating high-speed crash in Victoria

Police watchdog called in after dramatic early morning crash at Bay and Douglas intersection

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read