Work to clear the debris at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park caused by the severe windstorm last December has been a challenging undertaking.
And unfortunately, according to BC Parks, the popular park, which has been closed since December, will not be open in time for the busy Easter long weekend.
Monica Valdez Garcia, the supervisor for the Arrowsmith area, said work to clear the debris and the fallen trees across the campgrounds and various areas is ongoing.
“Once we’ve done all of that, we still need to repair the trails, the roads, washrooms facilities that were damaged and put in new garbage cans,” said Garcia. “There are some areas that are easy to repair than others.”
At this time, BC Parks plans to undertake the repairs in phases.
“The lower campground was the worst hit so that will take longer to open,” said Garcia. “So right now we’re looking at opening the day use area first followed by the Upper Campground. But sadly that’s not going to happen by Easer. There’s now way that’s going to happen.”
Garcia said it’s unfortunate that they’re not able to finish the repairs in time for Easter, which is one of the park’s busiest time of the year.
“It has really been very challenging,” said Garcia. “There’s a lot debris and fallen trees to be cleared. We have to make sure we’re not leaving behind any trees that will be dangerous and for the safety of the public later on.”
At this time, BC Parks has no definite timeline as to when all the work will be done and when the park will be opened to the public. You can go to http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/little_qualicum_falls/ to check updates on the park.
“There are more damages that we have yet to see so once all the fallen trees are removed we will be able to assess exactly how much more it’s going to take,” said Garcia. “It’s hard to say at this point.”
Meanwhile, some trails under the Regional District of Nanaimo continue to remain close to the public as well as repairs of the severe damages incurred from the windstorm continues. That includes Arrowsmith CPR Regional Trail from Cameron Lake Trailhead, and the Little Qualicum River Regional Park from Meadowood Way Trailhead in Electoral Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington).