An outline of planned planting at Gorge Esquimalt Park. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)

Ground breaks on Esquimalt Gorge Park upgrades

Cherry tree forest, pavilion among the purchases with $17-million McLoughlin Amenity Funds

A flurry of cherry trees are among the garden scapes residents can look forward to in Esquimalt Gorge Park come 2021.

Mayor Barb Desjardins officially broke ground on the Esquimalt Gorge Park pavilion on Friday, Sept. 25. The project is part of the community improvements provided by the $17-million McLoughlin Amenity Funds.

In January 2017, the Capital Regional District and the Township of Esquimalt agreed on an amenity funding package associated with locating the regions wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point. A one-time CRD contribution of $17 million will be used for capital projects in waterfront parks, recreation facilities, and a public safety facility.

RELATED: Esquimalt to host open houses for spending of $17 million wastewater funds

The contract for construction was awarded in August with construction beginning late September and an expected completion date of winter 2021.

Upgrades to the park – alongside 120 trees – include rain gardens in the parking area to reduce stormwater surges; an oil separator in the parking lot to capture oils before they enter the Gorge; a reflecting pond with a waterfall and a Shinto gate; 100 parking stalls (up from 65) and two electric charging stations; bike parking and food truck portals with water and power access.

The pavilion will feature five rooms that can expand with dividers; large decks on both floors; washrooms with access for park users; administration offices; boardroom; and two kitchenettes. The environment is a consideration with solar panels on the roof and triple glazed windows.

Recent improvements ahead of this funding include completion of a section of trail near Gosper Crescent that completes a full-park loop; more than 800 native plants in a new pollinator garden and an impending tree planting along the new trail with naturalizing enhancements to the banks of Gorge Creek.

Learn more at esquimalt.ca/engage.

READ ALSO: Wastewater treatment project less than six months from completion

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


 

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