Tanya Soroka, a parks and trails planner with the CVRD, holds a drawing of Shawnigan Lake. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Environment will be considered with new trail, CVRD official says

District planning a “rail with trail” project along Shawnigan Lake

Environmental assessments will be conducted before planned work begins on a new trail along Shawnigan Lake, according to the trail’s planners.

Dan Brown, a parks planning technician with the Cowichan Valley Regional District, said trail feasibility and design work is currently being completed for a “rail with trail” project within the E&N rail corridor between Mason’s Beach Park, Shawnigan Wharf Park and Old Mill Park.

He said the project has been identified as an important community pathway connection opportunity within the Shawnigan Lake community parks and trails master plan that was developed several years ago with community input.

“The feasibility and design work includes environmental assessment consulting work to identify what, if any, potential impacts to Shawnigan Lake would be associated with a ‘rail with trail’ within the E&N railway corridor, and how such potential impacts could be mitigated or avoided,” Brown said.

Some residents in the area had expressed concerns that work on the project was proceeding with no environmental assessments.

Scott Piercy said he is worried about the environmental impacts of bringing many more people close to Shawnigan Lake along the new trail.

“After what happened with the contaminated soil project close to here, people are concerned about these projects being forced through without proper environmental assessments being completed,” he said.


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