RDN photo The Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee has recommended Stone Lake Drive Community Park to be the location for a natural playground space.

Stone Lake Drive natural play space to go ahead

Creation of concept designs to proceed with help from Focus Group

Despite some opposition from residents in the area, the Regional District of Nanaimo will proceed with a plan to build a natural play space at Stone Lake Drive Community Park.

Staff recommended the location to the Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC). The project was requested by Nanoose Bay residents after the playground infrastructure at the park was dismantled in 2017 due to safety issues.

Last June, POSAC received a petition signed by 32 residents who expressed concerns and opposition to the project. They want the natural community park at Stone Lake Drive to “remain in its state without the trees, shrubs, and other natural growth removed to construct a playground.” They want the regional district to build it at Claudet Road Community Park instead.

“The notion that the district could somehow make this precious area more ‘natural’ strikes me as bizarre,” said Dave Dowling in his letter to Area E director Bob Rogers. “A lot of money, machines and effort would be expended to destroy the habitat of many creatures and birds, upset the ecological balance of the ponds, and result in some man-made ‘natural feature’ which would look manicured, sterile, and have none of the attraction and mystery of what is already there. The very few children who live in this area would, I am sure, ignore it.

“If your goal is to provide inviting natural spaces for families and children to explore, you have already achieved it, brilliantly: the Stone Lakes are a beautiful blend of nature and walkways. I urge your planning group to leave well enough alone.”

Staff visited and evaluated both Stone Lake Drive and Claudet Road community parks. They looked at the pros and cons of each location and recommended the latter.

Stone Lake Drive is closer to more families and residences, easily walked or biked to, and all natural materials fits the theme of the existing trails and park. It also offers the opportunity to integrate natural elements along existing trails and it is visible from the road. But it has no room to expand and may need to integrate drainage or build up the play space area if ground is wet in the winter.

The Claudet Road location has more space available, suitable for larger playground and could be combined with other amenities, has toilet, parking amenities in place and a dog park could also be possible there. However, it is not easily walked to and visitors would need to drive to reach it. A park master plan has to be developed first which would lengthen timeline substantially. It is also generally wet in the park and would require further investigation. Vegetation clearing would also be greater.

Staff has advised POSAC that the creation of concept plans for the natural play space proceed with the assistance of the focus group.

The project’s estimated cost is $45,000 and would be funded through the Community Works Fund. Additional costs would come from garbage service and occasional maintenance and repairs estimated to be $1,300 and $500 annually respectively.

Just Posted

Ballenas students launch fundraiser for U.S. travel to promote science experiment

Students’ experiment headed for International Space Station

Search is on for parties to build $10.7M Bowser sewage project

Further investigation of land disposal option rejected by RDN board

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

RDN dealing with high interest in backyard cannabis production

New policy proposed to address challenges with Health Canada licences

Qualicum Beach doles out Community Awards

Jacobson is Citizen of the Year; new mayor Wiese named top newsmaker

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Vehicle smashes through front of furniture store in Nanaimo

No injuries reported in Friday incident

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Most Read