In recent years, Mount Douglas Park has seen Saanich staff undertake several upgrades to preserve habitat, especially for salmon spawning in Douglas Creek.
The park has seen an uptick in traffic, with school groups and other park visitors enjoying the scenery and utilizing a new pedestrian bridge over the creek linking trails.
“It is probably the single most impressive park improvement since the park came to Saanich,” Darrell Wick, president of Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society, said of the bridge project.
The park upgrades are designed to help salmon populations in the creek thrive while maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
Wick said the effects of climate change – measurably hot summers and extremely wet winters – have visibly affected the creek and its ability to support spawning salmon.
Human-caused impacts have also come from urbanization around the watershed, an area mostly farmland in 1965 that is now roughly 50 per cent non-permeable surfaces, a figure Wick projects to significantly increase in the next years.
In the 50 years since he and wife built their home around the corner from the park, they have witnessed much development. Wick said he has also observed a decreasing water table and lower water levels in tributaries, spring-fed ponds, the main creek.
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