Gyro Park Playground Upgrade – An Opportunity Squandered

Saanich Parks’ disregard for public input into the Gyro Park playground upgrade is truly disappointing, as is CBRA’s (Cadboro Bay Resident’s Association’s) board support for Park changes that fly in the face of their own Parks Committee’s fundamental objective for Gyro Park: “To preserve and enhance the uniqueness of this site in terms of open space and nature, minimally encumbered by infrastructure” ..and do so without any community involvement.

Last year Saanich Parks presented 3 conceptual plans to the public which were not as well received as they would have liked. So, instead of listening to and engaging the public, they then decided to proceed with a totally new plan devoid of public input is now under way and it is unstoppable.

  • Instead of a graceful natural looking grassed berm, they have chosen to black-top the berm top, turning it into a short straight road, as if Park users lacked the opportunity to tread asphalt.

  • Instead of trying to simplify and reduce the system of pathways and make them more purposeful and natural, they have decided to black-top ultra wide paths through and around the new playground.

  • Instead of listening and learning about the unique unstable characteristics of the saturated peat soil underlying the park and its impact on drainage, they have chosen to overlay the playground with fill, which will compound the settlement and drainage problems. Not only will it do nothing to improve drainage, it will make matters worse.

  • Instead of being open to incredibly valuable input from the CBRA Parks committee which was based based on extensive consultation with park users and neighbours, they chose to dismissively belittle it by labelling it “element based not concept based”, further confirming their failure to engage and understand what the Public really wants.

And, so we travel a little further down the path to paving paradise, converting a “unique site in terms of open space and nature, minimally encumbered by infrastructure” into one that is less so ..regardless of what park users, neighbours and tax payers want.

For more information, go to the Cadboro Gyro Park link on their website and their Cadboro-Gyro Park Playground and Pathway Concept Plan.

– Bob Furber, a very concerned Cadboro Bay area resident

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