Parksville Wetlands trail work to continue next year

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Wet conditions and supply issues mean some upgrades to the Parksville Wetlands trails will have to be finished next year.

Over the past six weeks, crews brought in tonnes of rock to build the paths’ solid base and then limestone to complete the trails. City operations teams have been working at the Coldwater Road side of the wetlands constructing over 2,000 m of new trails, the city said in a news release. The work continues upgrades started in 2019 on new trails for walking, maintenance and emergency access.

A small portion of the trail became too wet for crews to access. Limestone supply issues also contributed to the delay, the release said. The city is considering installing way finding signs over the next few months.

“This section of the Parksville Wetlands is one of the few accessible urban forest parks in the region. Response to the work has been positive; the bright limestone capped areas help the visually impaired and the new parking areas on Coldwater Road provide mobility access,” reads the release.

Culverts were installed at regular intervals to help equalize the water throughout the park and there is now a solid, dry base for walking. The city said the upgrades have improved the trails’ visibility. 

“As climate change makes our summers drier, it is important we provide suitable access for maintenance and emergency access for ambulance and fire protection and this new trail network allows fire access further into the wetlands,” the release said. 

A grass fire in 2020 burned about 700 square m of the wetlands and another fire this past summer burned a section in another, more treed area, according to the city.

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