LETTER: Cyclists were causing damage to Haro Woods

Saanich Parks and Recreation should be proud of upholding the P-4N park status in Haro Woods and scrapping the idea of turning the forest into a bike skills park.

READ ALSO: Council approves plan banning cycling in Haro Woods

The process to protect Haro Woods took many years, first preventing housing development and then stopping the sewage treatment facility.

People who care about the forest had been waiting for a park status for years while damaging off-trail cycling and BMX bike jumping took place illegally as the formal park status and land swap work took place.

This activity increased when the advisory group encouraged this cycling community to take part in the planning discussions. This spread the false word that Haro Woods was open for bike jumps and off-trail cycling, causing further damage to the forest at an alarming rate.

READ ALSO: Bike enthusiasts have a place in Haro Woods

Bike jump builders and cycling trailblazers removed native vegetation as they built their, at times five-foot-wide tracks, using branches of ocean spray and other native shrubs they removed. They exposed dry sandy soil, causing erosion, then compacted it in mounds with wood and outside trash materials. In one area a large pit was dug for a source for soil.

Roots of trees, cut near the base of coastal Douglas firs, and native plants are of no consequence when a cyclist wants to get the best free ride.

Extreme lack of respect was obvious when garbage, broken glass, chairs, cans and even spray paint on fir trees was visible. The people who fought to protect Haro Woods found this devastating.

READ ALSO: Saanich teams up with BC Hydro for bike park

Haro Woods now has P-4N park status which has been upheld after the lengthy advisory group and public consultation process. Thanks to Saanich Parks and Saanich council, Haro Woods can finally be restored and protected, and available for everyone to enjoy long into the future.

Katrina Madsen


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lion dance, Kung Fu demonstrations celebrate Chinese New Year

Sunday’s event rings in the Year of the Rat

Victoria ranks as 16th least affordable city in the world

Vancouver, as well as the Fraser Valley, Nanaimo and Comox Valley also crack the Top 25

Number of EI recipients up 8.1 per cent in Greater Victoria, but unemployment remains low

Greater Victoria recorded the lowest unemployment in December 2019

Occupancy rates remain above capacity in Greater Victoria hospitals

Region’s hospitals have more patients than acute care beds

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Most Read