File A wood chip trail popular with runners and walkers surrounds Cedar Hall Park, which is currently undergoing a Planning and Vision process.

Popular Saanich park poised to undergo changes

Saanich residents can participate in the Cedar Hall Park Planning and Visioning Exercise by answering online survey

A popular Saanich park that draws an estimated 100,000 visitors per year stands poised to undergo changes.

Cedar Hall Park Park is currently the subject of what the District of Saanich calls a planning and visioning exercise.

“What we are trying to accomplish is to establisd a vision for the park,” said Julie Lommerse, parks planner and designer.

The park located in the Quadra area is one of the largest parks in Saanich with an area of 53 hectares. Saanich classifies it as a Municipal Park that attracts and serves the entire Saanich community. Much of the park sits within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The park surrounds Cedar Hill Golf Course and features a 3.6-kilometre wood chip trail that passes through wooded areas, passing a body of water named King’s Pond. A tributary of Bowker Creek runs by the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre and the south end includes baseball diamonds.

The district organized an Ideas Fair earlier this month that attracted 120 people. “In our experience with parking planning processes, that’s a success for us.”

The district has also posted an online survey that has so far drawn 100 responses. “We are getting some comments, some good feedback,” said Lommerse. It will be oepn until Aug. 9.

Lommerse however stressed that the process has just started with the information gathering stage, trying to understand what the community values about the park, while capturing ideas and comments they have about the park. “This information will then inform us as we move forward,” she said.

The next step will happen after the online survey has closed. Specifically, it will see the district convene a meeting of the Stakeholder Working Group. It consists out of a small group of district staff along with representatives from the following groups: Friends of Cedar Hill Park, Bowker Creek Initiative, Camosun Community Association, Mount Tolmie Community Association, Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association, Cedar Hill Golf Club and Capital Regional District.

They will review the findings. Parks and recreation staff will then distill the results into a plan, which they will present to the public for feedback. Current timelines call for an implementation plan by March 2018.