Editorial: Get parks work done in 2017

Editorial

Tuesday, December 27 2016

Here’s hoping this is the year we see some concrete movement on the Huxley Community Park front, as well as the proposed Village Way (VW) trail from Wishbone up to Tin Can Alley.

Not to mention all the other parks work waiting in the wings to be done on Gabriola and in the rest of the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Not that the current staff (permanent and temporary) of the RDN haven’t been working hard - but there’s enough work on the Gabriola Parks Plan that with no new additions, they’ll be busy for the next ten years.

Ten years.

That’s long enough for the current Grade 2 class at Gabriola Elementary to graduate high school. Gabriola is now at the point that the children who were part of the initial fundraising for a skate park are now wondering if their children will see a skatepark built.

Good news - according to RDN Director Howard Houle, “The RDN has contracted the Huxley Skate & Bike Park concept plan to Newline skate parks & Spectrum skate parks. 

“The team will start work in the new year with a site inspection and shortly after that to consult with the community on what we want build.”

This is an important first step - it means when the RDN has the funding to build a skate park at Huxley, it will have already done the planning on what is going to be built.

Houle has previously said the Huxley playground geared for the under-5-year-old crowd (aka Tot Lot) should also be getting underway in 2017.

Hopefully, with the RDN making another Parks Planner position permanent, this will mean fewer delays when temporary staff find permanent work elsewhere. Knowing a job is secure can make all the difference in keeping someone on board.

Gabriola, by way of the Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC) as well as other organizations on the island have helped shape the future plans for Gabriola parks. There’s lots of plans in place, and in cases like the Village Way Trail, the funding is there.

To quote Houle one more time, “We have the money. 

“Let’s get it done.”