LETTER: Action needed to protect park

I was happy to see the Dec. 20 front page story regarding the condition of Saanich’s jewel in the crown, Mount Douglas Park.

The park is so much more than a green space. It is one of the few remaining places on the eastern coast of lower Vancouver Island that you can see a mature Douglas forest and Garry oak meadows. There should been a far greater emphasis on protecting what is left.

The article highlighted many of the abuses the park faces but there others. The cyclists that feel entitled to ride paths tearing up the ground and many who expect people to clear out of their way. There are schools and groups that use the park to teach survival skills and a love of nature by leaving the paths and trampling the forest floor.

Property owners that feel the park boundary doesn’t apply to them, composting anything that doesn’t fit in the green bin. This practice is ground zero for many of the invasive plants that are spreading. Young people that create campsites complete with unwanted furniture, fire pits and often drugs.

Then there are the dog owners that allow Fido to chase the wildlife and leave their calling cards behind while the rest of us have to do the doggie-do two step. The unfathomable dog owners who pick up after Fido only to leave the bag at the side of the trail or worst chuck it in to the bush.

Clearly there are many people who are the centre of their own little universe and how do we protect the park from them? My suggestion would be to create some paid positions as park rangers. I have a few thoughts on funding but that is a rant for another day.

Deborah McEwen

Victoria

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