EDITORIAL: Compromise preserves future of Haro Woods

It’s an unexpected treasure nestled away off the beaten path on the northwestern edge of Saanich’s Cadboro Bay neighbourhood. Located off Arbutus Road, Haro Woods is valued for its natural beauty and is popular with users of all types: hikers dog walkers, joggers and cyclists.

But the growing popularity of Haro Woods is bringing its user groups into conflict, both on and off the trails. With more and more cyclists using the trails, in some cases building jumps and making other alterations, the potential for serious injury to those walking the trails cannot be ignored.

Saanich staff is developing a draft plan for Haro Woods that aims to work out these conflicts, having surveyed the public on their preferences.

“Staff have made every effort to avoid this becoming a confrontational issue and have been actively working with the cycling community to find a solution that balances their desires with those in the community who want to preserve and protect the environment,” said Coun. Dean Murdock, who chairs Saanich’s parks, trails and recreation advisory committee.

Haro Woods’ nearly 22 acres provides more than enough area to accommodate all users. A separate area could be cordoned off from the rest of Haro Woods, where cyclists would be free to build ramps, jumps and other trail features without jeopardizing the safety of other users. The draft management plan recognizes this potential compromise, noting a biking area “will only proceed if sufficient support is received.”

Murdock is supportive of the idea, saying “creating a sanctioned park area for cyclists’ use could be a practical way to manage its use and avoid further environmental damage outside of the contained area.”

Haro Woods almost never came to be. When Saanich acquired property there (the University of Victoria and Capital Regional District also own portions of the land) in 1961 it was intended for a potential sewage treatment plant. There’s no doubt that users should be able to find compromise to preserve their enjoyment of this treasured retreat that almost never came to be.

Just Posted

Saanich police look for driver involved in a hit-and-run

Incident happened Monday, Feb. 18 near Admirals Road by Murray Drive

Geography among factors behind Saanich’s place on worst intersection list

Site of McKenzie Interchange Project ranks as worst intersection on Vancouver Island

Bungy jump naked in support of mental health programs

Registration open for annual fundraiser for BC Schizophrenia Society

Search for modular housing in Saanich continues

Municipality says it remains committed to search for suitable piece of land to house homeless

Home show hits Pearkes this weekend

Victoria Early Spring Home Expo, Friday to Sunday

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

Northern B.C. train derailment due to broken axle could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Former B.C. fire chief sues his city after termination

Keith Green’s civil claim says that he believes he was wrongfully terminated

B.C. man injured in police shooting now in wheelchair

“Shots were fired by police and the Kelowna man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Most Read