Park development proposals invasive of natural setting
As frequent users of the McAdam-Rotary Park, we are very concerned about the major changes that are being proposed by the city of Duncan. This unique natural park bordering the Cowichan River has been enjoyed by young families, seniors, dog owners and visitors to Vancouver Island for many generations. Large areas of natural vegetation including giant cottonwoods, walking trails and good access to the river provide all of us a great opportunity to enjoy Vancouver Island’s outdoors. The park is basically well maintained by the City of Duncan, although there are always a number of small improvements that could be made.
Unfortunately, the city is proposing a grand plan to totally remake much of the park which will destroy a lot of the natural setting. Two options have been proposed:
Option A features a large number of changes which include: converting the one rarely used tennis court to a four-court complex with roof, ping pong, lights and seating; two separate fenced off areas for big dogs and little dogs that include seating, lights, jumps and waste receptacles; one off-leash river access point; adventure playground and mini bike loop with integrated[?] planting, also with more lighting and seating; a parkour area [some type of obstacle course]; walk-in campsites, glamping [really?] with yurts, tree houses and camping including registration for camping [unfortunately we know who will camp there]; a large area along the river for disc golf — a game that almost nobody plays; nature trails with play areas including a possible mountain bike pump track. This whole plan gives one an impression of building something like a Disneyland on the Cowichan River.
Concept Option B named “Journey From Urban to Natural” is no less invasive in nature. It also includes: two tennis courts with pickleball and seating, an adventure playground with mini bike loop, a parkour area, small off-leash dog area, off-leash dog river access, children’s farm and petting area, sculpture garden with lighting, picnic tables, barbecue, covered shelter etc.
Again, these are desirable features in a developed city park. It would be a shame to force them into the lovely natural areas which we still have along the Cowichan River.
Regrettably, a third option, which would leave much of the park in its original natural condition with some minor improvements, has not been proposed. With exception to the area around the McAdam Park sports area, which is already developed, leave the natural areas of the Rotary Park-river areas alone.
Hopefully the city will reconsider the currently proposed plans.
Don and Judy Holmes