Victoria, BC – The Citizen Advisory Panel to the Capital Regional District has prepared a draft strategic plan that would set the direction for regional parks and trails over the next decade.
“The draft plan is founded on the belief that our parks and trails provide immense benefits to all,” said CRD Regional Parks Committee Vice-chair Janet Evans. “That is why it is necessary to plan today to protect those natural areas that are so vital to the long term health of the region’s environment and of the people who live here.”
“The draft Regional Parks Strategic Plan represents the work and discussions of the Citizen Advisory Panel and CRD staff over the past 15 months,” said panel chair Dave Chater. “The plan recognizes the expectation for significant population growth in the region over the next ten to thirty years and is based on what we heard from the community, interest groups and other park agencies and what we learned from reviewing relevant technical information.”
The volunteer panel includes residents from throughout the region, and represents a wide age range of people with diverse interests and knowledge.
The highlights of the draft plan are:
- Confirmation that CRD Regional Parks is on the right track and that nature protection is its top priority.
- Conserving biodiversity, connecting natural areas, providing compatible recreation opportunities for people of all ages and abilities and responding to changing demographics are the centrepieces of the draft Plan.
- Environmental interpretation and communication are essential functions of Regional Parks and the CRD as a whole.
- That at least half of the land and water in the region should be managed for the conservation of nature through a wide range of means by 2100.
- An expanded parks and trails system, particularly in areas west of the Sooke River. The plan also advocates for connections between the natural area of the region and to trails systems in other regional districts.
- That the CRD maintain the direction that off-road motorized use is not compatible with the vision and mission of regional parks and trails.
Public meetings will be held throughout the district in May to review the draft strategic plan. A report on the results of this feedback together with a recommended final plan will be sent to the Regional Parks Committee and CRD Board in the summer.
The draft Regional Parks Strategic Plan, information on public meetings and other ways to provide feedback can be found at CRD Parks .
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For further information please contact:
Laurie Sthamann, Communications Coordinator, Regional Parks
Capital Regional District