Since early October, the City of Parksville’s operations teams have been working at the Coldwater Road side of the Parksville Wetlands, constructing over 2,000 metres of new trails.
This work continues with upgrades started in 2019, which saw new trails for walking, maintenance and emergency access.
A city press release noted that as climate change makes summers more dry, it is important to provide suitable access for maintenance and emergency access for ambulance and fire protection. This new trail network allows fire access further into the wetlands.
A grass fire in 2020 burned approximately 700 square metres of wetlands, and another fire in summer 2021 burned a section in a more treed area. Without proper access, the potential for loss from fire within our wetlands increases.
During the past six weeks, city crews brought in tonnes of rock to build the solid base and then limestone to complete the trails.
Since a small portion of the trail became too wet for crews to access, the work will be completed in 2022, along with the completion of limestone surfacing due to supply.
Wayfinding signage is being considered with addressing to be installed at park entrances in the next few months.
This section of the Parksville Wetlands is one of the few accessible urban forest parks in the region.
Response to the work has been positive; the bright limestone capped areas help the visually impaired and the new parking areas on Coldwater Road provide mobility access. Culverts were installed at regular intervals to help equalize the water throughout the park and there is now a solid, dry base for walking.
Sightlines are more open as well, providing good visibility and improved comfort if walking alone.
– NEWS Staff, submitted