Kathleen Burton, executive director of the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Society, will be on hand Friday as the new floating boardwalk across Swan Lake re-opens. Crews replaced the old floating boardwalk here seen in the background during the summer. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Kathleen Burton, executive director of the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Society, will be on hand Friday as the new floating boardwalk across Swan Lake re-opens. Crews replaced the old floating boardwalk here seen in the background during the summer. Wolf Depner/News Staff

New boardwalk floating across Saanich’s Swan Lake re-opens Friday

Costs for replacing the old wooden boardwalk top $800,000

A popular recreation trail will re-open just in time for Thanksgiving.

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary announced Tuesday that it plans to open the new floating boardwalk across Swan Lake on Friday, Oct. 5, with a ceremony scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

Work on replacing the boardwalk began in early June.

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Like the original boardwalk, the new boardwalk cuts across the northeastern corner of Swan Lake at a length of more than 300 metres, in offering visitors excellent views of the local flora and fauna. But unlike the new boardwalk, the old boardwalk consisted largely out of wood and nature weathered it beyond repair since its opening in 1991.

The new boardwalk consists of steel and fiberglass with an estimated total price tag of $800,000 with some $534,000 coming from the District of Saanich. The centre also raised funds through its ‘Give-a-$heet’ campaign and received funds from the Federation of Co-ops ($75,225) and from TD Friends of the Environment Fund ($25,000). The society also continues to accept donations.

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Kathleen Burton said the new boardwalk offers everybody a better and safer experience, when they visit the nature centre, adding that the new boardwalk will last longer while being more environmentally sound.

The project, she said, also came in on time and on budget in thanking the various partners involved in the project.

“A lot of planning and finessing went into carefully paddling each float across the lake and into place,” she said. “Replacing the old boardwalk, weathered by the forces of nature, with this gift to the community was no small undertaking,” she added later.


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wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com