RDN prioritizing improvements for Moorcroft Regional Park

RDN and stakeholders identify projects that need to be undertaken soon

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to install new amenities at Moorecroft Regional Park in Nanoose Bay.

Following a planning workshop held on May 15, which included a site visit and tour of the park, several actions items were outlined and a vision for the park was identified by representatives from Snaw-Naw-As First Nation, Nanoose Bay Elementary, RLC Naturalists, Regional District of Nanaimo Recreation and Parks, Moorecroft Stewards, the Nanoose Bay Parks and Open Spaces Committee and the RDN Regional Parks and Trails Select Committee.

The primary projects suggested for consideration were new vault toilets in the development zone and in the meadow; a picnic shelter on the Kennedy Hall site; the removal of Ms. Moore’s cabin with the installation of seating on the site; and improved entrance area and parking, including a designated bus drop-off zone.

Improvements to the water line and service road are also going to be required prior to installing a vault toilet in the Meadow.

With the park part of the traditional territory of the Snaw-Naw-As and Snuneymuxw Nations, cultural and archaeological protection was also given significant importance.

The suggested improvements have now been prioritized over four to five years, at an estimated cost of $333,500 to undertake.

For now the Regional Parks and Trails Committee has recommended $72,500 be considered for inclusion in the 2018 Regional Parks Operations budget for construction of the double vault toilet, removal of the cabin and installation of seating.

The balance for funding the remaining projects is to be allocated over the coming years in the five-year financial plan.

The recommendation will be presented to the board’s committee of the whole before it is sent to the RDN board for approval.

The 34-hectare park is located on 1563 Stewart Road in Nanoose Bay. It was purchased by the RDN from the United Church of Canada in 2011.

It is valued for its significant ecological features, including a sensitive Garry oak ecosystem, its natural recreation features, and its cultural connection to the region.

A conservation convenant was established to ensure the preservation and enhancement of ecological values of the park. Under the covenant, only seven per cent, or 2.09 hectares, of the entire park may be developed for recreation use. That development zone contains the Meadow and central area that housed almost all of the demolished camp buildings.

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