An outdoor kitchen, natural play space, a fountain or public art were pitched for a potential village square in Metchosin.
Last Friday, roughly 20 residents of all ages attended a public consultation at the Metchosin Community House regarding the potential construction of a village square somewhere in the municipality.
“We had a lot of old timers from the community, people who have been here 40-plus years and we had people who just moved here six months ago,” said Shannon Carman, a member of the healthy communities advisory committee with the District of Metchosin.
“There were some good ideas put out. A couple of local farmers came out to say how cool it would be, given Metchosin’s rural but agricultural roots, to have some sort of outdoor kitchen in this potential new gathering space as a way for people to hang out. We talked about playgrounds.”
In August, the District received a $30,000 grant from the provincial government, the B.C. Alliance for Healthy Living and the B.C. Healthy Communities Society to help create more active communities. Earlier this month, the committee launched an online survey to find out what residents would like to see. Thus far, they’ve received more than 200 responses – roughly two-thirds of whom are in favour of creating such a public space.
But not everyone is happy with the idea. There were a few people who attended Friday’s consultation who were not in favour of creating a public space, saying it would only increase traffic in the District.
Once the survey wraps up on April 3, consultants RC Strategies + PERC will sort through the responses and come back with a report in mid-April. The committee will then need to narrow down where the village square could go and figure out a governance structure. Carman said the committee is looking at the Metchosin Elementary school, the green space next to the Metchosin fire hall or close to where the farmers market takes place to have the village square.
“The whole project sparked from young families saying ‘gosh, there really isn’t anywhere to take young kids easily,’ except to the beach,” Carman said. “It’s an overall feeling of alienation and not being able to find each other.”
To fill out the survey visit metchosin.ca. The committee is hosting a second public consultation at the community house on Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to noon. Daycare is available for families wishing to attend.