Park and trail system will form part of major housing development in Sooke

When completed, it will feature a look-out deck, picnic area, playground, hiking trail, and waterfall

A major project is on the rise in Sooke, as developers are working alongside biologists to ensure that nature and man live in harmony.

Along with the 140 housing units being built at Viewpoint Estates, which is located along Grant and Rudd Rd., a sizeable park and trail system is being set aside on the land for people and wildlife to share.

“We gave away the most area that we could, while still keeping all the lots there,” said Mike Volk, project manager. “Instead of five per cent park dedication of the land, we donated about 20 per cent to the community.”

The park and trail system won’t only benefit humans, however.

Thomas Roy, a project biologist with Oceanview Estates who has been working on the project with Viewpoint, said the park is also very important to the wildlife in the area.

“The old way of doing subdivisions, they would just dedicate five per cent a long the rear of the properties for parks, but that doesn’t really encompass anything,” said Roy. “So we do environmental contraints mapping, and find out where important habitats and ecosystems are for wildlife in an area and tie them all together so they are connected.”

Roy has been working with this particular area to ensure any environmentally sensitive areas in the subdivision are protected.

“I think it will benefit the people as well because they will walk through this area, see all the wildlife, and maybe become more aware of what environmental sensitivities there are in their own backyard,” said Roy.

At first, the project was going to consist of approximately 400 units, but the developers decided it would be too excessive and timely so they scaled it back to approximately 159 lots; 23 of which already exist with houses on them.

The development is being completed in phases, and currently the development is in phase two. Phase one consisted of the 23 lots, and phase two will include terraces that will give people a way to access the park located behind the lots.

There are four phases total, the third being Viewpoint Falls, and the fifth being Viewpoint Parkside. The final phase is hoped to be completed by 2019.

Volk said phase two is approximately halfway done, and they are hoping to be finished by November. Right now they are having to do a lot of blasting in order to provide an access to the park area.

When the park is finished, it will feature a look out deck, a picnic area, a playground, a hiking trail, and a man-made waterfall.

“I’m excited to show everyone what a spectacular piece of property it is,” said Volk.

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