Leave McAdam Park in its natural state

People in Duncan need a nature park, not a theme park.

Leave McAdam Park in its natural state

I am in complete agreement with John Scull’s comment on Placespeak Duncan: People in Duncan need a nature park, not a theme park. As natural areas are shrinking everywhere, we need to preserve a gem like McAdam Park in its natural state. The park as it is supplies wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities; people can wander among the trees, on the dike, and down to the river. Dogs are usually very well behaved, due to the great socialization opportunities in the off-leash areas.

I very much enjoy the natural areas of McAdam/Rotary Park. This much-loved park is a refuge for all sorts of wildlife in the midst of surrounding urban areas. The last thing we need is to shrink this area even more through additional people-related infrastructure.

Instead we should change our perspective towards enlisting the help of ecosystems like McAdam Park by making them more resilient to the onslaught of climate change and habitat degradation. This can be accomplished by naturalizing the park further, see suggestions below. We need to prevent more human interference in the riparian areas in order to preserve crucial salmon habitat. That means, there should be no additional structured access to the river.

Please let me remind the planners that we have an exceptional treasure right here in the middle of Duncan, the magnificent Cowichan River in its natural bed. It is a BC Heritage River as well. Human structures cannot hope to make the river more beautiful than it already is. Those who want to observe it, can walk down to its ever-changing shores. Don’t put in any new observation platforms. They are a disturbance to the wildlife, expensive and mostly don’t fit the natural landscape at all. In many places that I have visited, they are rarely used once completed at the expense of the taxpayer.

I propose the introduction of more native flowering plants and native shrubs in the park. This will serve to increase biodiversity as more and variable habitat is created, to increase the populations of native pollinators and honey bees which are all in a downward spiral through habitat loss, including loss of native flowering plants. Birds will benefit from more insects to feed their young, more shelter will be created for a host of other creatures…the list goes on.

I also propose leaving all the leaves on the grassy areas where they fall. Leaves are nature’s way of fertilizing the soil and feeding plants through feeding the soil microbes. The health, strength and resilience of the park’s trees will be enhanced. People hardly use the grassy areas anyway.

I hope that all the comments in favour of leaving the park in its natural state and suggestions to use naturalization measures, will encourage the planning department, as well as planners in nearby municipalities, to realize that we urgently need to work with nature, and not against it.

We know, through the science of ecology and biology, how we can enhance the impoverished biodiversity around us. McAdam Park provides an excellent opportunity to do just that.

Sabine Almstrom

Duncan

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