The draft for the Beachcomber Park Management Plan is now complete and it includes actions to be undertaken over the next 10 years. It’s a first for the park. — RDN Photo

Beachcomber Park in Nanoose Bay plan reviewed

Some residents don’t want changes to popular area in Nanoose Bay

The draft Beachcomber Regional Park Management Plan is now complete and ready for the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors’ consideration.

It’s a 10-year plan and a first for the one-hectare park, located in Electoral Area E on Marina Way in Nanoose Bay. The RDN has been managing the park since 1988 after the Beachcomber Park Association donated it to the regional district.

The plan, which was developed between October 2016 and December 2017, will serve as a management park guide that also features actions that will be undertaken over a 10-year period.

Prior to completing the draft last December, the public and stakeholders were given a chance to review the project via the RDN website and also through public consultations at two open houses and two public surveys conducted last year.

A review considered issues and concerns including visitors’ safety and enjoyment, ecological protection, and annual maintenance costs and the development of strategies to mitigate these issues. Also undertaken were a biophysical assessment, a hazard tree assessment and an archaeological assessment.

Those who attended the open house and responded to surveys made it clear that no changes or additions be made to the park. But some participants requested a more accessible main park entrance from the parking area on Marina Way to the beach, in order to improve access for seniors and people with mobility issues.

Other management actions identified and proposed in the plan from 2018-2028 include: post signage; fire and emergency plans; park use; removal of invasive plant species; monitoring of eagle nest tree to prevent disturbance; removal of high-risk hazard trees; pruning of trees; and completion of a detailed archaeological impact assessment.

The Beachcomber Park is geared for low-impact nature recreation, according to the draft plan, which added the park is popular with neighbourhood residents and visitors from through the RDN. Activities there include birdwatching, tidal pool exploration, diving, swimming, relaxing, enjoying views, dog walking and picnicking.

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