Gravel ‘de-naturalizes’ Qualicum Beach park trails, say some

Some residents much prefer the chip surface that has been used to date

Complaints over the resurfacing of trails in the Qualicum Beach Community Park led to some questioning of staff by town councillors Monday night — following a series of complaint letters received at town hall.

“I want to direct staff to communicate with people and explain what was actually going on,” said councillor Mary Bruilette. “Council received a memo from staff already on the plan for local trails, so, make that report public.”

The complaints centre around the use of gravel, replacing the wood chips on the trails. Mayor Teunis Westbroek noted many of the complaints talked of the “de-naturalizing” of the trails as a result.  Public works director Allan Cameron said the change to gravel was to take care of erosion issues on some of the trails — as well as reducing the cost of long-term maintenance to the town. He said gravel lasts longer than wood chips, keeps trip hazards down and eventually woody debris and leaves in the area will make the trails look more natural.