An update for a new park in Qualicum Beach was presented to council, and it includes a proposed new name — ‘Elizabeth Little Waterfront Park’.
It was first announced in 2018 that St. Andrews Lodge would be turned into a public space, the largest town-owned property on the waterfront. Now, the town is underway with plans to make the project a reality.
The timeline varies for the park and its renovations. The pedestrian pathway time frame is one to three years, while the covered picnic and gathering shelter time frame is three to 10 years. The majority of upgrades, however, will be in the one-to-three-year time frame.
Purchased from the estate of Elizabeth Little for $3.4 million, the property includes St. Andrews Lodge and Glen Cottages on the north side of Hwy 19A, as well as eight smaller lots on the south side of the highway across from the lodge.
Kate Evans, a planner from Lanarc Consultants, the company Qualicum Beach hired to complete the concept plan, went over the draft concept, as well as recommendations to council. The plan includes pathways, improved beach access, viewpoints, a sign system and ways to engage in the site’s history.
“Qualicum Beach’s former St. Andrews waterfront park offers a natural respite among mature trees that highlights the town’s waterfront character. The park serves to connect people with nature, community, family and site history,” said Evans, while reading out the vision statement. “Visitors of all ages are invited here to relax, socialize, be active outdoors, enjoy the waterfront and celebrate natural coastal features for generations to come.”
Some recommendations included: remove the cottages from the property, repurpose them if possible; a feasibility study to be done on the Lodge building; an arborist report be done on the property; create an outdoor classroom; integrate outdoor seating and picnic areas and manage the park tree canopy in the upland areas.
Part of the draft plan includes removing the cabins, which were deemed unfit for use. According Luke Sales, Director of Planning for the town, that process will cost around $60,000 — money which will be taken from the 2020 capital budget.
The public has time to give feedback on the proposed name until March 30.