Potholes parkland thanks to Shaw
By Jennifer McLarty
May 27 2005
Canadian media giant Shaw Communications has dipped into its wallet to help protect one of B.C.'s most spectacular swimming holes.
The company announced Wednesday it's contributing $200,000 to The Land Conservancy's Sooke Potholes campaign, which will finalize the famed property's transformation into a regional park this summer.
"It took 2,700 individual donations to hit the $700,000 mark. Now with Shaw's
generous donation, we've reached our $900,000 goal," said TLC executive director
Altogether, the 63.5-hectare property cost $3.3 million - $2.4 million coming from the Capital Regional District and $900,000 from TLC.
The new park will be overseen by the CRD, but The Land Conservancy will get 8.5 hectares, including an existing campsite, industrial area and abandoned lodge.
Over the next three years, it hopes to build an environmentally friendly visitor centre to attract eco travelers from the world. "We'll be having a contest for the best design concept," said Turner.
"Then it will be back to fundraising to actually complete the building,"
For now, trail and parking improvements are on the to-do list this summer. A grand opening is planned for June 26.
Celebration to mark park at Potholes
By Norman Gidney
The newest Capital Regional District park is a five-kilometre strip of land by the Sooke River purchased by The Land Conservancy and now being sold to the CRD.
The two groups are organizing “a big celebration,” said Jeff Ward of CRD parks. It will be an afternoon of family activities, plus talks by a naturalist, displays, classical music and refreshments.
“There’ll be lots to do for people,” he said. Organizers are expecting hundreds at the park. Main events will be beside the former lodge building, now demolished.
Formerly known as Deertrail, the property was a development site and is upstream from Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. Ward said the land had been cleared of most of the old tanks, sheds and industrial equipment.
“The transformation has been amazing over the last couple of months,” said TLC’s Tom Arnold.
Two new access points into the park have also been created and it’s easier now to get down to the swimming holes.
Opening ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. with speeches by CRD chairman Don Amos, parks committee chairwoman Karen Watson, Sooke Mayor Janet Evans and TLC executive director Bill Turner.
Some Deertrail major fundraising sponsors will be there: Spinnakers offering smoked and barbecued salmon, Sooke Harbour House with fresh-made cookies and ice cream, Sooke Lions grilling hot dogs and hamburgers.
Sooke Cycle will be there to fix flats and repair bikes, and the Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue group will rappel down the canyon wall.
Parking is limited. Visitors are encouraged to
park at Edward Milne School on Sooke Road
and ride a shuttle bus to the park. Cyclists
or pedestrians can take the Galloping Goose
trail, which goes right to the park.