Weed-Whacking Warriors: Phyllis Park western entrance now open

From the Phyllis
Park “Pulling Together” Team
Weed Whacking Warriors and Friends
of Phyllis Park)

Many thanks to you, members of the CBRA, for giving us your unanimous
support in principle this past January to re-open the western entrance to
Phyllis Park at Lockehaven Drive.   This entrance
is now usable—though it is more a route than a developed trail.  

The Phyllis Trail System as it exists now
could be classified as a moderate (blue) level trail system, accessible on a
similar level to East Sooke Park Coastal Trail.
It should be marked as such with appropriate signage cautioning the
casual walker, until trail improvements are made.

Since last September we have worked on our own as well as with Saanich
staff support.  We have:

  1. 1.     Worked 580
    volunteer hours.
    1. Removed many truckloads
      of invasive broom, ivy, spurge-laurel (Daphne laureola) and Himalayan
    2. Also removed other
      invasives including tall periwinkle (Vinca major), Cyclamen, poison hemlock,
      yellow archangel (Lambium galeobdolon), wild carrot (Daucus carota),
      Cotoneaster, bindweed (Convolvulus), and “the dreaded RG’s” (rhizomatous
    3. Completed second
      pass for broom removal on east side of park from the wooden lookout structure
      to the open meadow and bluff areas below.
  2. Cleared the 40
    metre trail from Lockehaven Drive to the park above, and from there, west to
    the Wedgewood recreational centre and east to below the Blue Heron complex.
  3. Marked the
    walking routes with blue surveyor ribbon and temporary signage.
  4. Hiked all routes with
    our advisors Wylie Thomas (Friends of Upland Park), Ron Carter (retired Saanich
    Arborist), Matt Fairbarns (Botanist/Trial Island restorationist) and Dave
    Suttill (trails expert).
  5. Removed
    blackberry from Phyllis Road boulevard eastern park entrance.
    1. Restored area
      with cardboard mulch and several tons of chopped oak leaf mulch.
    2. Planted two-dozen
      native plants in this boulevard area.
    3. Removed many
      holly trees with the assistance of Rick Hatch and Saanich crewmembers.
  6. Received significant
    pledges toward trail restoration, along with more than 60 petition signatures
    supporting access improvement.
  7. Met with a
    representative of the Saanich Legacy Foundation and will apply to create a dedicated
    fund for the management of donations and provision of tax receipts to donors
    this week.
  8. Walked the entire
    park with Sharon McMillan to record GPS trail map with the aim of developing a 10
    year park restoration strategy plan (Sharon teaches at Royal Roads and is a Masters
    Student in Restoration of Natural Systems/UVic under Dr. Val Shaeffer).
  9. Received a
    commitment from the Green Team (restoration group endorsed by Saanich) to
    provide restoration support for the park.

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