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CRD seeks Greater Victoria, Gulf Islands residents’ input on proposed parks plan

Previous plan called for biodiversity protection, increased trail connections around CRD
A climber scales a rock wall in the Sooke Potholes Regional Park, the management of which falls under the Regional Parks Strategic Plan. (Photo by TJ Watt)

The Capital Regional District is looking for public feedback on proposed updates to the 2022 Regional Parks Strategic Plan, through three online information sessions and an online survey.

The strategic plan lays out the management of more than 13,300 hectares of natural areas in 32 regional parks and three regional trails on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The plan in place between 2012 and 2021 listed protection of the region’s biodiversity in perpetuity, and the connection of CRD municipalities via arterial trails, as goals for the regional parks and trails.

“The Regional Parks Strategic Plan provides us with a map to guide our approach … over the next 10 years,” Rebecca Mersereau, CRD board vice-chair and regional parks committee chair, said in a press release. “We have had discussions with key stakeholders about what they would like to see in the strategic plan and now we would like to hear from members of the public.”

The public can register for one of three online information sessions via Zoom on March 12 (noon to 1 p.m.), March 16 (5 to 6 p.m.) or April 1 (noon to 1 p.m.), by visiting and clicking on the link to Regional Parks Strategic Plan Update. The accompanying online survey is open until April 4.

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A draft version of the new strategic plan was accepted by the CRD board on Feb. 9. In addition to public input, the CRD is in the process of gathering input from affected First Nations.

Mersereau said she looks forward to a meaningful public discussion on regional parks priorities for the next 10 years.

“During the pandemic we have experienced increased passion for and pressures on our regional parks system and have renewed our commitment to learn, share and consider feedback on what matters most to our community and region.”

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