City reaches out to public as Linley Valley Park planning begins

By Dominic Abassi
July 25, 2017 - 6:08pm Updated: July 25, 2017 - 8:11pm

The public can now have their say on the plan for nearly 200 acres of parkland in Linley Valley.Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — The City is reaching out to the community to help shape the future of the largest piece of parkland in Nanaimo's north end.

An online survey was launched ahead of a community workshop focused on current and future uses of Linley Valley Park. The City bought the nearly 200-acres for $5.7 million in 2014.

Director of parks, recreation and environment Richard Harding said since the City bought the land they have done some basic survey work, studying environmental and archaeological issues. Other than a few upgrades and a little bit of signage, the park has been largely untouched.

Harding said students from Vancouver Island University will help by mapping the area to determine what environmental features and trails are there now. He said while the overall goal is to keep it as a natural public space, it's important to manage things properly and in a structured way.

"Parks can be loved to death if you don't manage them," Harding said, adding there's a risk sensitive areas may be trampled and people will inevitably begin cutting in their own trails.

Combined with the adjacent Cottle Lake Park and park space acquired through development, Harding said the vision is to have a park system which would connect from Rutherford Rd. in the north to Hammond Bay Rd. in the south.

The city-owned land is protected from development by the official community plan and zoning.

Harding said about $80,000 has been set aside for the overall planning work. He expected it would be about a year before any formal plan comes together.

The City will host a community workshop at Oliver Woods Community Centre on Aug. 22, although a time has not been set.

An online survey can be completed until Aug. 12.

 

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On Twitter: @domabassi

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