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

Humboldt bike lanes next in Victoria’s Biketoria plan

Public input sought on new designs; protected two-way, shared lanes being considered

Smouldering U-Haul snarls Pat Bay traffic

Afternoon commuters were reduced to one northbound lane after a U-Haul cube… Continue reading

North Saanich is B.C.’s least “most dangerous” town

Sidney is the Saanich Peninsula’s “most dangerous” town, in magazine’s crime rankings released Nov. 23

VIDEO: RCMP respond to single vehicle accident on Sooke Road

Driver has been taken in to custody for possible impaired driving

Fees waived for affordable housing project in Sooke

Knox Vision Society is building a $11.3-million facility on Church Road

VIDEO: Sara-Jeanne Hosie adds music to Wintertime in Oak Bay

Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Company C stages Wintertime starting Nov. 29

Saanich among safest communities in Canada

It is the sort of list where you want to finish near… Continue reading

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

15 arrested as Duncan police raid yields drugs, stolen property

Arrests made, drugs and stolen property seized

English Inn offers public tours of Esquimalt redevelopment

General manager wants to clear up miscommunications and gather community input

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Mounties dismantle counterfeiters ring with raid in Maple Bay Thursday

Counterfeiting paraphernalia found along with firearms, stolen property as police swept in Nov. 23

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Most Read