Today I am disappointed to learn of the Town of Qualicum Beach’s intention to replace the wood chip trails in the off leash dog walk with compacted gravel.
I was not aware of this decision until some of my fellow dog walkers mentioned it today. According to my colleagues this week is the last week to register any opposition. I cannot protest against this decision strongly enough.
The off-leash trails behind the Civic Center are possibly the most unique trails there are. It is a little bit of wilderness right in the middle of the city. It is beautiful and a joy to walk through. One’s footsteps are muffled by the wood chips that smell natural and are comfortable and easy for all to walk on. Bicycles, horses and motorized vehicles are prohibited so there is no need the make the walkways easier for them to use. The trails wind through the trees in a way that makes one feel that one is truly walking in the forest.
I’m told the reason for the change is cost of maintenance. This puzzles me. I have seen the city’s efforts in maintenance of both wood chips and gravelling as the process has already started with one section in the very back having been done several weeks ago.
Last year, I saw a replacement of part of the wood chip path. This involved an electric golf cart with a driver and two staff members dumping the chips as they passed over the trail. The placement of the gravel path involved the electric vehicle with two staff members as well as three other staffers placing, raking and tamping the gravel path. The math doesn’t add up. It will cost much more in wages alone to maintain a gravel path.
It is disappointing to have elected officials who seem to not want to consult with the users before making the decision for such a drastic change to this unique asset of the town.
Anne Marie Doran