By Murray McNab
Further to my article, last month, here is a short piece on the rest of the parks that used to be taken care of by the Area ‘H’ Parks Commission.
I see from the photograph, by last month’s article, that there is a new sign for Elliott’s Beach Park, all part of the push to standardize all parks across the CVRD. Just before the Parks Commission was dissolved, more improvements were made to the foreshore at this park. As often happens when the CVRD Parks staff, get involved, budgets don’t mean much and the money flows. In this case, so as to complete the project, another $25,000.00, was ‘found’, and the project was completed. There had been a rough set of steps, created with flat rocks, that lead to the beach area. These steps were replaced by a concrete ramp. complete with a metal handrail. This ramp certainly made access to the beach area much easier for many parks users. One small problem, this ramp is too steep to meet the Code for wheelchair access. Before you get off on a rant that wheelchairs cant be used on the sand, please look up the new wheelchairs that are available for use in sand, There is no reason why people confined to a wheelchair, should be denied the chance to dip their toes into the water, on a hot summers day. I will be contacting the Rick Hansen Society, in an attempt to get this blunder resolved!
Much like at the subdivision that resulted in the land for Raven Park being given to the Community, the worst possible piece of land was given as Parkland, when the subdivision was created near Elliott’s Beach.
If you will remember this blackberry infested piece of swampland was the proposed site for the Satellite Fire Hall, during the 2001 referendum on the “New” North Oyster Fire Hall. If I remember this glorified garage, was budgeted for just over $750,000.00. Thank goodness the Area H voters, said no, to such foolishness!
In my haste last month, I failed to mention the access to Michael Lake, which comes off of Prospect Drive, a ways past Aho RD. This access is only 20 feet wide but is the only public access to Michael Lake. The sign for this access was continually being taken down, by someone, who obviously did not want the public using this lake. Unfortunately, this access is very steep and grows over very quickly, with blackberries and other shrubs. While on the Parks Commission, I surveyed this trail and produced a profile drawing. With this access only being 20 feet wide it would be very expensive to even improve the grade so that the average person could drag a small boat down to the water’s edge. This access should be brushed out and a permanent sign installed at the edge of Prospect Dr.
While on the Parks Commission, Trillium Park, in the Diamond was developed. This beautiful little park is a real gem when all of the Trilliums are in bloom. I have not visited this park in several years, but know that it is quite well used, but would benefit from several more benches, along the trail.
There is one other parcel of land in the Diamond. A piece of land was dedicated as parkland when the subdivision was created at the end of Christie Rd, With the proposed development to happen on the opposite side of Bush Creek, it had been proposed that a wooden bridge be constructed across it, for non-vehicular traffic. It would be great if this happened, sometime in the future.
Now, to the picnic table fiasco, at Yellow Point Park. Quite some years ago, some mindless vandals, stole one of the picnic tables from this park. Barry and Mary Marcotte purchased a cedar picnic table at one of the NOAH’s silent auctions and installed it in the place of the stolen picnic table. Mary and Barry wanted to dedicate this new picnic table to my daughter, Mareena and asked me to have a plaque created and install it on the centreboard of the picnic table. I must admit that at least 2 years passed before I got by to measure the width of the centreboard. I then went off and had a plaque created, Much to my surprise, when I went by to install the plaque, the picnic table had been removed and in its place was the usual government issue, generic, picnic table. I immediately call to talk with someone in the Parks Department at the CVRD. After several calls and the all too typical run-around, I was finally able to talk to someone who could explain what happened. It seems that the crew, had deemed the picnic table to be shabby and unsafe, so it was replaced. After more calls, I was informed that the original table was indeed on the scrap pile, used by the CVRD. Of course, I asked that the picnic table be returned. They agreed to drop it off at the farm on their next trip up our way. As I suspected, the table was in great shape, except for a few gouges that were the result of loading it into the CVRD truck. I have used this table for at least 1 year at the Corn Maze and intend to install it at the North Oyster Community Centre, as soon as the final landscaping plans have been firmed up.
I understand that the CEO at the CVRD, came from the Provincial Parks Branch and as such wants to see everything to do with parks to be standardized across the vast CVRD. I stopped by Blue Heron Park, just the other day, and true to form, several of the large, all wood picnic tables had been replaced, with the same, one size fits all, picnic tables preferred by the CVRD, If you are ever by Blue Heron Park, please take a moment to sit in the lovely Cedar bench that was installed by a family, in remembrance of their parents. This bench was installed while I was on the Parks Commission. Concrete for the base was donated by my brothers and this family had the bench made and installed. Now, you cant do that. You must apply to the CVRD, pay your $150.00 and a generic bench will be installed.
While there, I noticed that the old wooden stairs have been replaced with a concrete ramp. I did not have time to check out the slope on this ramp but will do so in November.
After last months article, I was called by a person who lives beside Yellow Point Park. They have some of the historical information on the creation of this park. They also went on to tell me about having to take a chainsaw into this park to clear fallen trees, that the CVRD Parks Department had refused to clear. This same person had observed rebar sticking out of the area of the steps at Blue Heron Park. They called the CVRD, about this most dangerous situation and this resulted in the concrete ramp.
I do not care who you vote for in the upcoming Federal election, but please just get out and vote!