Gary Darrah, Manager, Park Planning, Design and Development, District of Saanich, writes:
The District of Saanich has agreed to license a one acre portion of land from BC Hydro for the development of a youth bike skills park.The youth bike skills park will offer elements designed to promote adventure, assist in youth health and development and increase physical activity.
The site is located at the north end of the George Tripp Substation between Borden Street and Lochside Drive. A suitable location to accommodate this type of intense use was challenging to find.
“Council is committed to building a youth bike skills park, which is a crucial component of our Youth Development Strategy,” said Councillor and Parks, Trails, and Recreation Advisory Committee Chair Ned Taylor. “We recognize there is a strong demand for outdoor youth recreation facilities in Saanich and this opportunity will provide a new facility for our youth to engage in healthy, active pursuits.”
The BC Hydro land offers many benefits such as an accessible location next to the Lochside Regional Trail with existing parking along Lochside. The site is enclosed by concrete walls and bordered by large trees and vegetation. The area has lots of open space allowing the facility design to work within the natural environment.
Council approved funding in the 2019 to 2023 Financial Plan for the development of a youth bike skills park. The agreement with BC Hydro allows Saanich use of the property for $1.00 to be renewed every five years. Facility maintenance will be funded through operating budgets with a request for ongoing funds in the 2020 budget process.
Saanich staff will begin work on a detailed design this fall with input from residents and facility users. The facility may include elements such as bike skills, pump park, parkour, skate, ropes course, zip line and bouldering. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2020.
Good news for Haro Woods and us too !!
– Eric Dahli
Chair of the CBRA