Reality check: The public can come and weigh in on the project to give away public parkland at John Phillips Memorial Park to a service club, but how much will their input weigh?
Calling John Phillips Park the second largest park in Sooke may give an impression that we have abundant green space.
This is hardly the fact, especially downtown, where rampant development is swallowing hundreds of trees, bushes, and green spaces, strangling residents and the environment. Because grass and trees absorb toxins, store carbon, and give us oxygen, buildings are the third-highest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
A 2021 online public survey said most wanted to see wetland restoration and more trees planted in the park. A community amenity facility was not listed in the survey.
Has a single tree or bush been planted since? None. It’s easier to give away public land to developers and have them cut down trees, bushes and pave grassy places.
We have a community centre on Shields Road, which may need some renovation but has a banquet hall and a commercial kitchen.
Offices for Lions to meet twice a month? Can be easily built on their Murray Road property. As to the daycare, don’t we have one just across Otter Point Road from the park?
An outdoor stage? What about the one in Ed Macgregor Park?
Give us, downtown residents, and our environment a break!