The Brant Viewing Area platform in Qualicum Beach is now closed to the public so work can begin to upgrade the platform. The Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers is working with the Town of Qualicum Beach and Arrowsmith Naturalists on the project which will be in memory of the late Faye Smith, the streamkeepers’ co-founder. — Lauren Collins photo

Qualicum Beach Brant viewing area temporarily closed

Will reopen as memorial after construction, upgrades to site

The Brant Viewing Area in Qualicum Beach will be closed temporarily for construction to repurpose the area.

David James, Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers president, said the clearing of the site begins on Monday (March 5), and they plan to have the new facility open by April 22 — Earth Day. The closure is part of an upgrade to the viewing area which will also be a memorial for longtime environmentalist Faye Smith.

Smith, a co-founder of the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers, passed away in March of 2017.

RELATED: Habitat enhancement society stalwart remembered

RELATED: Brant viewing platform getting an upgrade

The new site will include: replacing the current platform with a new roofed structure; recognition of Qualicum First Nation traditional territory and history; adding pictorial signage about the panoramic view, the intertidal ecology, and the bird species and other wildlife; telling the stories of wild salmon in nearby Grandon Creek and of the Parksville Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area; and enhancing the site with native vegetation.

“It’s going to be a complete interpretive site,” James said.

Plans for an upgrade to the viewing area began in early 2017, streamkeepers’ secretary Pat Jacobson previously told town council.

At the Jan. 8 council meeting, Qualicum Beach council approved staff to allocate matching funding “to support the completion of the Faye Smith Memorial and Brant Viewing Area improvements, as proposed by Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers… up to a maximum of $100,000.”

James said the streamkeeps have raised almost $90,000 of their share for the structure and signage and the town will be overseeing the landscaping. At the end of the project, James said, the streamkeepers will transfer the building to the town as it’s on town-owned land.

The project is considered valuable enough that the streamkeepers even coaxed money from the City of Parksville.

“Just like fish don’t know boundaries, Faye didn’t know boundaries, either,” said Pat Jacobson, who appeared with Peter Drummond as a delegation before Parksville city council at its meeting on Feb. 5.

Following the presentation, in which the pair described the project and its benefits to tourism and education in the region, Coun. Sue Powell made a motion that $2,500 be contributed from council’s contingency funds.

“When I was first listening I thought, ‘Why should we contribute to Qualicum Beach?” Coun. Kim Burden said. “But your presentation has convinced me this is something of benefit to the whole region.”

The motion passed unanimously.

The streamkeepers are working with the Town of Qualicum Beach, Arrowsmith Naturalists and friends and family of Smith to complete the project.

The Brant Viewing Area will remain closed until the completion of the project. The Brant Wildlife Festival, which has used the viewing area, runs March 19 to April 28. The area just to the east of the closed viewing platform, James said, will still be available for use during the festival.

— with files from J.R. Rardon

[gps-image name=”10832918_web1_180301-PQN-M-BrantViewing2-construction-lc-mar1.jpg”]

 

The Brant Viewing Area platform in Qualicum Beach is now closed to the public so work can begin to upgrade the platform. The Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers is working with the Town of Qualicum Beach and Arrowsmith Naturalists on the project which will be in memory of the late Faye Smith, the streamkeepers’ co-founder. — Lauren Collins photo

Just Posted

Deep Bay artist creates abstract sculptures using cement

Birgit Piskor’s artist journey has blossomed from gardener to sculpture

Fill the fire engines in District 69 for 2018

Firefighters set to conduct annual food and toy drive

Grandmothers to Grandmothers host annual Christmas Extravaganza

Crafts, baked goods, knitting and many more homemade treasures available at fundraiser

Gridiron Whalers go marching past Saints

Ballenas defence holds off surging Langley to secure spot in playoff quarterfinals

Who wants to have coffee with Parksville’s mayor?

Coffee with Ed Mayne will take place Thursdays, starting Nov. 15

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

Tragic conclusion to search for overdue hiker west of Campbell River

An overdue hiker was found deceased on the shore of Lower Campbell… Continue reading

Who was Chris Bloomfield, the Mill Bay man shot by police?

A troubled man with a voracious appetite for illicit drugs and a non-conventional lifestyle

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Vancouver Island duo honoured for raising $1 million for MS

Darcie and Kevin James hail from Cobble Hill

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Most Read