Damien Mydonc

Goldstream’s great outdoors gets more active

New playground has already proven a hit with kids, families

Goldstream Park has added it’s newest amenity, an eight-piece playground joining a host of outdoor activities at the 200-plus site provincial campground.

Situated almost dead centre in the campground, the equipment received a good workout in its first full week of use after being completed May 23, said park operations contractor Rick Carswell.

“Every table was full, every bench was full and every piece of equipment had 10 kids on it,” he said. “To see that and the families interacting with each other, that’s what it is all about. It put a huge smile on my face. This is finally what this park needs.”

Situated next to the popular amphitheatre, which has begun hosting free children’s activities seven days a week, the playground was installed over a clearing. No Douglas fir trees were taken down during construction, which was undertaken with an eye on protecting the root system of nearby trees.

“This was the perfect area for it,” said Carswell. “Everything on this playground is low-impact and there is no concrete pillars going into the ground. We didn’t want to impact any of the trees.”

As an example, cedar from Qualicum Beach was brought in to make the split-rail fences that sit on cement blocks instead of being piled into the ground.

“A park of this nature is deserving of this facility,” Ministry of Environment spokesperson Kirby Villeneuve said of the project, which was completed at a cost of about $220,000. “It is long overdue. The fact we didn’t have one here 10 years ago is a head-scratcher for me.”

The playground was added to Goldstream –the second-busiest provincial campground on Vancouver Island, behind Rathtrevor in Parksville – based on a campground user survey.

“It was an overwhelming response for wanting this type of facility,” Villeneuve said, noting that 800 responses were received.  “It keeps kids busy, keeps parents happy and adds to the overall experience here at Goldstream.”

There may be more improvements coming as well. A kids mountain biking facility with a figure-eight track and a trail with basic biking obstacles are potentially on the horizon. Carswell hopes to see many locals visit the park, adding many Greater Victoria residents still don’t know the campsite exists.

“I have so many people who live in Langford and graduated out of Belmont that don’t even know it is here,” he said. “The park is for the people, we want them to come out and enjoy it.”

For more information on the Goldstream campground visit naturehouse.ca.

alim@vicnews.com

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