Mount Douglas Park will have summer ambassadors

Ambassadors will engage visitors to the park that draws close to 400,000 people each year

Visitors to Mount Douglas Park this summer will be greeted by park ambassadors.

The new pilot project is to educate park goers about the diverse but sensitive nature of Mount Doug Park, which is threatened by rogue trails, disappearing plants and dump sites. They’re all misuses of the park that the new ambassador pilot project hopes to end.

With 400,000 annual visits, the park ambassador project has been on the mind of Darrell Wick, president of the Friends of Mount Douglas Society, for some time.

“There’s plenty of evidence that the plant life is removed, everything from fiddleheads, trees, cedar boughs (for wreaths), beach material (driftwood, sand, shells, clams), mushrooms, young plants and saplings, firewood,” Wick said. “We also have issues of rogue trails, people are going off-trail into sensitive areas and it’s a problem.”

Ambassadors will walk the park and engage park goers, educating them while also being a presence against any illegal activity, though ambassadors are not expected to enforce bylaws.

Recruiting will begin soon.

“We want people who are able to travel the park, who are enthusiastic about the park, and who can speak to the park,” said Eva Riccius, Saanich Parks senior manager.

From May to September the ambassadors would spend a few hours each week greeting visitors, offering information and answering questions about the park and trails.

Saanich Parks staff worked with the Friends of Mount Doug to develop the pilot project, which was approved earlier this week. Saanich made $30,000 available for program development, volunteer recruitment, supervision, support, supporting materials and honararia.

The money is for experts who are brought in to train ambassadors, whether it’s about identifying plants and birds, or if it’s some First Nations elders who are able to share their knowledge, Riccius said.

If the summer 2018 pilot project proves successful, Saanich staff will explore the potential expansion of the park ambassador project into other Saanich parks.

Saanich Parks will soon release more information on the parks ambassador pilot project and volunteer recruitment at saanich.ca.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Science fair draws best junior scientists from Vancouver Island to Victoria

200 young science enthusiasts share their inventions and discoveries at UVic

Vic. Symphony, Jeans ‘n Classics will rock you with the Best of Queen

Post-Bohemian Rhapsody, Pops Series concerts bring British band’s music back into spotlight

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Farm Whisperer tackles tough subject of farm succession

Linda Geggie is executive director with CR-FAIR

Young cyclist struck near Galloping Goose Trail

Minor injuries reported by police

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says future assembly deliberations won’t be closed to public

Reversal comes after Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff raised concerns

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read