Mount Douglas Park Society president Darrell Wick uses the group's newly released sound map of the park to find the quietest area of the park. The group found the north-west corner of the park is the area most free of manmade noise.

Mount Douglas Park Society president Darrell Wick uses the group's newly released sound map of the park to find the quietest area of the park. The group found the north-west corner of the park is the area most free of manmade noise.

Locating peace and quiet in Mount Doug park

The Mount Douglas Park Society has produced a map of the park that shows where it's noisy from traffic and where sounds of nature prevail

A new map is helping users of Mount Douglas Park find a little bit of peace and quiet.

The map, which is available online from the Mount Douglas Park Society, shows the manmade sound levels on every trail in the park, with colour coding to indicate everything from sweet silence to intrusive traffic noise.

The project started as a reaction to a transmitter site which was installed near the top of the mountain with air conditioning fans which caused a significant amount of racket. The District of Saanich fixed the machine but the incident prompted the group to start thinking about noise throughout the park and the importance of documenting its levels.

“Quiet is a positive attribute of the park and if you don’t document these things, you can’t preserve them,” said Darrell Wick, society president.

The first idea was to record decibel levels, but participants soon found out the noise from birds, wind through trees or other natural occurrences were often louder than the manmade noises.

It was then decided the best approach was a subjective one, so volunteers walked the trails of the park and every 50 feet wrote down the sounds level on a scale of zero to three, with zero being no manmade noise at all and three being the heavy sound of traffic.

The sound of airplanes was also noted, simply to keep track of how much air traffic the park sees.

As far as Wick knows this is the first soundscape map ever to be made of a park. Other groups in the United States have worked towards documenting sound levels in parks, often to document the influence of air traffic, but Wick has yet to find anyone using that information to make a map.

The map, which has the trails colour coded in either green, yellow, orange or red shows, will be a helpful tool for people who desire to get away from it all.

The north-west corner of the park, off of Cordova Bay Road, by Seaview Suites, is the most consistently quiet area, owing to a plateau which cuts the road off from the park. Other areas, such as the trail along Douglas Creek, are also “green” for good, as is the pocket between Little Mt. Douglas and Mt. Douglas.

Other areas, such as parts of the Whittaker Trail alongside Cedar Hill Road glare red for high traffic noise.

Wick hopes the information will be used by Saanich when considering development proposals near the park. Currently the group is encouraging the city to purchase a parcel of land near the quiet north-west area in the hopes of saving it from potentially noise-causing development.

“We feel this is an important aspect of the park, so when Saanich looks at development or zoning outside of the park we hope that they’ll take this into consideration,” Wick said. “Because it would be a shame to lose that value.”

To view the map visit mountdouglaspark.ca.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

More plans for Mount Doug

Other projects of the Mount Douglas Society in partnership with the District of Saanich are underway.

The inscribed boulder rock at the Churchill Drive entrance to the park has been re-scribed. An informational kiosk is set to be built by the end of the year at the same entrance.

Next year plans are to install the other half of the same boulder across the road from the one currently there and to put in a new gate. Speed deterrents are also planned for the beginning of Churchill Drive.

 

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

Just Posted

E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar is closing its doors until further notice after sexual assault allegations against an employee surfaced on social media. (Google Streetview)
Sexual assault allegations temporarily closing a second Victoria restaurant

Social media posts accuse an E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar employee of sexual assault

On Feb. 27, a construction vehicle remained on the site of the former encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue as part a clean-up effort. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Encampment between Pat Bay Highway, McKenzie Avenue cleared, all residents relocated

Efforts to disband encampment resumed after January fire

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Hells Angels prospect from Sooke to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich council opts to wait until amalgamation study can take place safely in-person

Victoria council, province must weigh-in on next steps for citizens’ assembly

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

President of the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) Teri Mooring is calling for teachers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by summer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
It’s ‘urgent’ B.C. teachers get vaccinated from COVID-19 before summer: BCTF

Enough isn’t being done to prevent virus transmission in schools, says president Teri Mooring

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, endangered orcas from the J pod swim in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. A new study from federal researchers provides the most detailed look yet at what the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas eat. Scientists with the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center spent years collecting fecal samples from the whales as well as scales from the fish they devoured. They say their data reaffirm the central importance of Chinook salmon to the whales. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Study reinforces importance of Chinook to Pacific Northwest orcas

Data confirms how central the big salmon are to the orca’s diet year-round

Shiromali Krishnaraj arrives from India and receives a mandatory COVID-19 test at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. B.C.’s approved rapid tests also use a nasal swab, with a machine to scan for COVID-19 antibodies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s rapid COVID-19 tests have produced only two positive results

Tests deployed for exposures in schools, outbreaks in care homes, jails

BC Emergency Health Services confirmed that a call was received just before 10 a.m. Ground paramedics, as well as an air ambulance, are on the way to the area. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BREAKING: Helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

The Nanaimo bar display at the Nanaimo Museum. (City of Nanaimo Instagram)
City of Nanaimo points to correct recipe after New York Times botches batch of bars

City addresses ‘controversy’ around dessert square’s layers

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. First Nation demands transparency in probe into second fatal RCMP shooting

‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

Most Read