Panama Flats discussion not a new debate

I have lived two blocks away from Panama Flats for the past 45 years. This is not the first time land use for the area has become a contentious issue. In the late 1960s, Cool Aid founder and future MLA Charles Barber fronted community concerns regarding proposed development for the area. We were concerned primarily with the loss of critical wildlife habitat, but were also questioning the wisdom of building within a known floodplain. The homes and condos came – and flooded – but the basin area of the flats escaped pavement.

Today, the preservation of wetlands for waterfowl and other wildlife is even more important because these areas have become the most fragile and threatened ecosystems on earth. Now that the land has been acquired, I think it should be legally protected and designated as critical habitat.

It bothers me that Frank Leonard is keen on landscaping and manicuring the area. Why can’t we leave it more or less the way it is? Obviously the berms need to be removed and some trails will be needed to protect native wildflowers on Panama Hill, but the land doesn’t require human engineering in order to be beautiful and useful. This is an opportunity to demonstrate that human habitation and activity can co-exist with wildlife habitat in an environmentally responsible manner.

Community or allotment gardens? I’d rather see a berry farm than a crop of plastic lawn chairs, whirligigs and garden gnomes. The area has been farmed for decades during the dry season. We can support local agriculture and address sustainability concerns by leasing the land for spring and summer crops. Perhaps a charity like such as Mustard Seed would be interested in farming the area. After it floods in the winter, the leftover seeds, grains and roots will provide nourishment for waterfowl.

Holly Hansen


Just Posted

Victoria Beer Week celebrates ‘five years of cheers’

Nine day craft beer festival delves into home brew workshops, food pairings, and a road trip to Sooke

Transit open houses on better Peninsula bus service

SIDNEY — Improved BC Transit services to West Sidney and to the… Continue reading

Victoria Orchid Society hosts 30th annual show

Orchids in full bloom March 3 and 4 at Our Lady of Fatima Hall

Free public lecture timed with scientific meeting in Sidney

Oceanographer Gregory Johnson speaks on the robots that monitor ocean temperature and salinity

Victoria playing host to regional farm market conference

Food industry experts to attend three-day networking event, which is open to the public

The 2018 B.C. Games wrap up in Kamloops

The B.C. Winter Games comes to a close after a weekend of fun and excitment

Naval ship spills 30,000 litres of fuel in the Strait of Georgia

HMCS Calgary spilled fuel east of Nanaimo and Parksville on Saturday

Student Voice: Phones in school a tool for learning or weapon of mass distraction?

Spectrum student questions role of smart phones in school

Library’s French collection gets $15,000 boost

Provincial grant adds extra French-language materials to Greater Victoria Public Library collection

Spectrum to stage Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Students having fun with laughs in Broadway musical

B.C. boosts support for former youth in government care

More support coming for rent, child care and health care while they go back to school

Saanich skater golden at B.C. Winter Games

Desiree Grubell takes gold, Emily Walzak silver in Special Olympics figure skating.

SMUS stages Catch Me If You Can, the true tale of a con-artist

Musical follows tales of impersonator Frank Abagnale Jr.

B.C. VIEWS: Our not-so-New Democrats don’t rock the boat

Finance Minister Carole James takes the wheel, steers similar course

Most Read