Kathleen Burton, executive director of the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Saanich News file photo

Saanich council to debate funding help for nature sanctuary

Council Tuesday will debate whether Saanich will help pay for the replacement of a popular nature walk.

Coun. Fred Haynes and Coun. Dean Murdock last week tabled a notice of motion that asks staff to “develop options for Council’s consideration to provide funding toward the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary boardwalk replacement.”

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary needs about $800,000 to help replace the floating walkway that currently runs across the lake at a length of more than 300 metres. Made out of cedar boards, it opened in 1991 and ranks among the most popular tourist destinations in the region as the sanctuary draws some 65,000 visitors annually and serves as an ecological educational centre for students across the Greater Victoria region.

The society has so far raised $350,000 towards through its ‘Give-a-Sheet’ campaign to replace the current cedar boards with fibreglass sheets said to be longer-lasting and eco-friendlier.

Kathleen Burton, executive director of Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Society, said in an earlier interview that the bridge will help improve the experience of visiting the sanctuary.

“That is a way for us to tell our story more,” she said. “It is a way for people to get out in the middle of lake, where they wouldn’t normally be able to be and get a different view and often see a lot of different things that they wouldn’t be able to see. But it is also for educational programming.”

The new boardwalk will actually be above water, thereby serving as a wildlife corridor for muskrat, otter, waterfowl and other creatures. It will also feature so-called ‘teaching pods’ where visitors can learn more about Swan Lake and its unique ecosystem.

The origins of the sanctuary date back to 1975. More than a decade earlier, the District of Saanich had started to acquire land around Swan Lake and Christmas Hill with the aim of “retaining the area in its natural state, for the use and enjoyment of the public.”

Just Posted

New club started for miniature horses in Sooke

Small animals are ‘incredible pets’

Pipeline project protesters stage morning event outside CRA office

Intersection is also busy with ongoing construction activity, caution advised for drivers

Parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Saanich homeowner feels harassed over unsightly premises dispute

Staff recommending council declare the items on Whiteside Road property be declared a nuisance

Indigenous leader shares traditional knowledge of B.C. plants for Earth Day

Guided walks through Beacon Hill Park provide insight to historical uses of Camas, Indian Plum, snow berries

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Turbulent times for outgoing B.C. Lieutenant Governor

Judith Guichon ends term today, returns to Nicola Valley ranch

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Maple Leafs look to stay alive tonight as they face elimination against Boston on home ice

Electric vehicles more affordable than you think: BC Hydro

Myths blocking road to electric vehicle adoption

Kinder Morgan bungled pipeline public relations: poll

The survey suggests 58 per cent of Canadians believe the company is to blame for poor perceptions

Plane makes a surprise landing on the Coquihalla

Social media was alive Sunday night with pictures from Coquihalla commuters.

Royal baby: It’s a boy for Kate and William

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Trump says North Korea agreed to denuclearize. It hasn’t.

Trump is claiming that North Korea has agreed to “denuclearization” before his potential meeting with Kim, but that’s not the case.

Most Read