Newly remediated and upgraded Regina Park is open in Saanich. The park and its upgraded features were open this week and cost less than the $207,000 estimated costs. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

A prettier Regina Park reopens with logs, berms and swales

Regina Park upgrades come in under $200,000

After six weeks of remediation Regina Park re-opened to the public this week and the upgrades are significant.

Even Justice Ward Branch suggested the land of Regina Park was little more than an unkempt dog park in his final ruling that supported a Saanich injunction to evict more than 100 occupants of the Regina Park tent city on Sept. 7.

The park was officially fenced off and closed to the public on Sept. 13.

Read More: Return to Regina Park: Members of tent city met by concerned neighbours

The upgrades are eye-catching, centred on a hard-pack gravel path through the middle of the park that connects Harriet Road to the Galloping Goose. The entirety of the construction actually came in under the estimated $207,000 that went to council in a report last month.

“What you see is for visual interest,” said Eva Riccius. “We’ve added logs and boulders as informal places to sit. The pathway that encourages neighbours to use it as a connector, and we’re hoping it’s great for walking dogs.”

Saanich Parks also installed berms of soil which used soil excavated from the pathway. No soil was removed from the site, Riccius said.

Another six trees will be planted through the park. There are also two rain swales and a series of berms.

Parks also took time to prune the iconic willow that stands in the park.

Saanich also did a site and soil assessment for environmental hazards such as hydrocarbons, but deemed it unnecessary to test for hazards related to recreational drugs, as was done on the courthouse lawn in 2016.

“Folks were at the courthouse a lot longer and in greater concentration,” Riccius said. “What we tested for were the sorts things that turn up from historical use such as material coming from the highway.”

Found were pieces of brake pads, as well as detritus from a former housing lot that was used for residential use prior to being converted into Regina Park.

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