Adult Western Painted Turtles basking at Langford Lake in 2016. (Courtesy of Ken Groat)

Adult Western Painted Turtles basking at Langford Lake in 2016. (Courtesy of Ken Groat)

Turtle work, name nixing and new park potential in Langford

City of Langford working on a number of parks projects

Langford’s parks department is set for a busy period with new parks and improvements to existing ones in the works.

Langford Lake

Portions of the Ed Nixon Trail will be intermittently closed as work to improve the habitat for Western Painted Turtles in the lake continues. The work will include adding basking logs, removal of invasive species and the addition of fencing to protect sensitive habitat areas.

The work is being done by Westhills, the development company which owns a portion of property on the lake, the turtle work is set to be completed in January of next year. Following that is tree limbing and installation of fresh trail and new seating set to be completed in June, with a new floating dock set to be installed during the summer of 2023.

The prosperity of the painted turtles has been subject to public scrutiny in the past. Back in August 2021 the City of Langford was considering selling a separate portion of the property bordering Langford Lake to a different developer – a move that was stopped by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

At the time, 2,676 people signed a petition calling for the land to be preserved as a park, pointing to the turtles as reason to protect the land.

READ MORE: Langford Lake property sale kiboshed by Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Naming of 3297 Kettle Creek Crescent Park and Trail

Council opted against staff’s recommendation to call the soon-to-be-completed Kettle Creek Park after a longtime council member during its council meeting on Monday (Dec. 5).

Staff recommended in a report that the park be called “Winnie Sifert Park and Trail Connector” after the former councillor who sat on city council from 1992 through to 2018.

Council instead voted for staff to bring back a report looking into how decisions are made over park names, with multiple councillors saying park naming would be a good opportunity for public participation.

New park at 2575 Jeanine Drive Park

During the same meeting, council backed plans to start work on a potential park at 2575 Jeanine Drive Park.

The city owns the 0.4 acre property, after it was dedicated to it through the subdivision of two lots on Mill Hill Road prior to incorporation in 1992. The city had previously looked into making the space a park in 1998, but residents rejected the idea.

This time residents came forward asking the city to make the space a park. Coun. Lillian Szpak said there was much public consultation done previously.

“It is what the neighbourhood really wants,” she said, adding extensive environmental protections would be in place to protect the trees on the property.

Coun. Keith Yacucha said that in the future a strategic parks plan to identify different opportunities for new parks should be developed.

City staff will now start researching design proposals and costs for the park.

ALSO READ: Langford proposes modest 2.95-per-cent tax increase; larger increases down the road

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