(Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich teams up with BC Hydro for bike park

Construction set to start next year

Rick Stiebel/News Staff

The wheels are turning in Saanich for construction of a new bike skills park for youth.

The District of Saanich has agreed to lease a one-acre portion of land from BC Hydro for the development of a facility that may include elements such as bike skills, a pump park, parkour, skate, ropes course, zip line and bouldering. Saanich will lease the site, at the north end of the George Tripp Substation between Borden Street and Lochside Drive for $1, to be renewed every five years.

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The park will offer elements designed to promote adventure, assist youth health and development and increase physical activity. Finding a suitable location was a challenge, said Gary Darrah, manager of park planning, design and development for Saanich noted in a media release.

“The BC Hydro land offers many benefits such as accessible location next to the Lochside Regional Trail with existing parking along Lochside. The site is enclosed by concrete walls and bordered by large trees and vegetation. The area has lots of open space allowing the facility design to work within the natural environment.”

Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor, chair of the parks trails and recreation advisory committee, said the youth bike skills park is a crucial component of the District’s Youth Development strategy. “We recognize there is a strong demand for outdoor youth recreation facilities in Saanich and this opportunity will provide a new facility for our youth to engage in healthy active pursuits.”

Council approved funding in the 2019-2023 Financial Plan for the development of the park. Facility maintenance will be funded through operating budgets, with a request for ongoing funding to be included in the 2020 budget process.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

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