Supporters of Storybook Village in Qualicum Beach held a productive meeting, but they are early in the process of saving the learn-through-play facility.
The child-scale village on the grounds of the former elementary school in the middle of town, run by Building Learning Together and volunteers, has had an increase in vandalism since the school closed and suffers from lack of maintenance and support, said BLT manager Judi Malcolm.
While the scale village and neighbouring alphabet garden are well used by the community, especially for special events like Halloween, Malcolm said BLT is struggling with the necessary regular maintenance, let alone the constant vandalism and they are looking to the community that “so generously helped establish it,” to figure out how to maintain it.
She said 37 people attended a meeting on Feb. 18 meant to gather supporters and start the conversation about if the site is worth saving, and how that might be done.
“It was a great turn-out and people were really engaged,” she said, giving a long list of groups represented from the BLT itself, to CUPE and school district staff, the fire department, RDN, SOS, local municipal representatives, and various partner groups, volunteers and neighbours.
She said both the Shrine and Rotary clubs expressed interest in stepping in to help run the site, which she said would be the best option for BLT, but the Shriners have since backed out, deciding it didn’t fall within their mandate.
They are in the process of coordinating all the information gathered at the meeting and plan to hold another meeting in the near future.