A backhoe works alongside soil being remediated on the former site of the pistol firing range in Thetis Lake Regional Park. The range area is being converted back into usable parkland.

Former pistol range being converted to parkland

Area in Thetis Lake Park being remediated to expand park

Land once used as a firing range will soon become part of Thetis Lake Regional Park.

Visitors to the Capital Regional District-operated park will soon be able to access more open space, following site remediation currently underway on a 0.75 hectare parcel, formerly the site of a firing range for police forces, security companies and local gun clubs.

“It’s been going on for a long time,” View Royal Coun. David Screech said of targeting the range area west of Highland Road for parkland.

“Even before I was on council before 2002 … the need for clean up had been identified. It has just taken a long time, (but) we are actually going to do something with it now.”

Remediation of the area involves excavating soil, dismantling the soil berms that were once fired upon and removing all contaminated soil from the site. The project is costing the CRD $712,610 while $74,720 for the project is being provided through provincial grant money.

Screech listed a couple of reasons for undertaking the project.

“Number 1, the risk of contamination and runoff will be eliminated, which I think is important,” he said. “Also, the residents will be able to enjoy that area and use it as an open green space, which they (cannot really do) at the moment. That, to me, is the key benefit the neighbourhood will receive.”

The soil at the former “pistol park” was deemed contaminated by the province after it closed, due to the metals from bullets and casings found at the site.

“As a town we are delighted to see it moving forward and get it completed. We’ve wanted to see it happen for many years,” Screech said. “We look forward to when the fences can come down and it can (finally) be opened up to people.”

There was no firm timeline available for the project’s completion.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com