The RDN announced it has completed a project that will make Nanaimo’s Ammonite Falls more accessible for residents as well as visitors to the region.
The Regional District of Nanaimo held an official opening Monday, March 21, for improvements at Benson Creek Falls Regional Park, namely a new viewing platform and staircase at Ammonite Falls.
The $1.2-million project began in 2020 with parking lot and trail head improvements. A bridge over Benson Creek was also part of the first phase.
“Visitors with a wide range of abilities can now enjoy the many stunning features of Benson Creek Falls Regional Park, including Ammonite Falls, thanks to these new upgrades,” said Vanessa Craig, RDN director and chairperson of the regional parks and trails select committee, in a press release.
The RDN added in the release that the park was prioritized for improvements “due to its growing popularity and the environmental impacts from increased use.” The region says the project will help to reduce erosion and encourage re-vegetation. The regional district provided a breakdown of the project budget, noting that $169,000 went to parking and trailhead improvements, $398,000 to bridge and trail work, $360,000 for the waterfall stairs and viewing platform, and $302,000 for consultants, arborists, permits and other costs.
The Island Coastal Economic Trust provided a $103,000 contribution.
“This is a significant step forward in making the region’s attractions more accessible to a broader range of abilities,” said Aaron Stone, ICET chairperson, in the release. “Sustainable, year-round and low-barrier amenities benefit locals, but also attract new visitor markets, strengthening the region’s tourism and hospitality sectors.”