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LETTER: Tree replacement must be part of Elk Lake development

With Saanich’s approval of the condominium development on the edge of Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park, Saanich council, in keeping with its stand on climate change, must now require the developer to plant at the very least three times the 55 mature trees [165 trees] that will be cut down to make room for the development.

I suggest that, at the developer’s expense, at least 10-foot high evergreen trees be planted as a green forest wall on the east side of Elk Lake Drive from Our Lady of Fatima Church to the entrance of Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. This green forest wall is for sequestration of carbon that will be lost with the cutting down of the 55 mature trees.

The permit to allow the cutting down of the trees should not be given until the green forest wall is planted so that loss of carbon sequestration is kept at a minimum.

The green forest wall will also serve as a noise barrier for the residents and hotel guests on the west side of Elk Lake Drive and as a windbreaker for pedestrians walking along Elk Lake Drive. It will also result in a more esthetic drive on both the Pat Bay Highway and Elk Lake Drive.

The ground cover for the green forest wall should mimic the ground cover in the forested areas of the regional park. This will ensure less maintenance cost, in terms of mowing the grass, for the municipality.

Ben J. Pires