Resident pitches plan to keep deer in park

Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society not convinced deer are coming from park to Gordon Head neighbourhoods

Livinia Rojas wants to plant native

Mount Douglas area resident Livinia Rojas has an idea to keep the deer out of backyards and in Mount Douglas Park, by planting native, deer-friendly vegetation in the park.

Rojas presented to Saanich council as a delegation of one on Monday, floating the idea for a pilot project, in which Saanich would fund the purchase and planting of deer-friendly plants in Mount Douglas Park.

Rojas comes at it as an animal sympathizer who doesn’t want to see deer getting hurt on Gordon Head roads, she says.

“Some people seem to think I would plant non-native or invasive species but of course we would only plant native species the deer like,” she said. “Others ask me, what about the predators. And I say to that, wouldn’t you rather they were away from the houses?”

Council was mostly mum in their response.

While the idea to keep deer in Saanich is novel – the district is working in tandem with the Capital Regional District’s long-term deer management plan, which is currently exploring a spay and neuter vaccination program in Oak Bay this fall – Rojas has not approached Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society, said the organization’s president, Darrell Wick.

The suggestion that deer are coming down from Mount Douglas Park to Gordon Head neighbourhoods is erroneous, Wick wrote in a letter to council.

“With all the people in the park, and their off-leash dogs, and the deer get scared, they clear out,” Wick said. “Any deer on Mount Doug are probably well away from trails, which isn’t a place anyone will plant anyways.”

The Friends of Mount Douglas, in partnership with the Saanich Pulling Together Program, has spent more than 15,000 hours removing invasive plants from Mount Douglas Park and continue to do so on a weekly basis.

“Volunteers are welcome to join us every Thursday morning,” Wick said.

He also said he doesn’t believe anyone has a true deer count.

“It’s all subjective, but walking in the park, it’s rare to see a deer compared to walking or driving around Gordon Head, where you’re sure to see them. That’s where they live. They much prefer the well-watered, tasty garden [vegetables] of Gordon Head,” he said.

For now, Rojas admits she has more to research for her plan, but what can Saanich lose, she asks.

“It’s native vegetation, it won’t hurt anything. I’m sure no one had dreamed about actually feeding the deer, but maybe we can keep them in the park.”



Just Posted

Final bell could sound for project that allows Victoria grads to dress in style

Magic Wand must find space to store its prom attire for Greater Victoria students by end of June

Man accused of Brentwood Bay murder appears in court

Alan Chapman tells judge he wants next court appearance to be “as far away as possible”

Pizza brightens Saanich public hearing

Acting mayor Coun. Colin Plant orders snacks during marathon session

Staff recommend major boost to Langford council pay

After 13 years without an increase, mayor’s pay would double over next five years

Victoria couple seeks community’s help after e-bike stolen for second time

Voltbike stolen from parking garage on Quadra Street

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Slain friend motivates rookie football player to make it with hometown B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu, stabbed to death in 2014, a source of inspiration for promising RB Jamel Lyles

Sooke council urged to move faster on off-leash dog park plan

Resident questions why five of seven restricted parks are in Sooke

Driver of stolen vehicle caught after fleeing accident scene in Island community

Section of Chemainus Road closed until suspect located and eventually taken into custody

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Most Read