Trees chopped down to make way for the City of Nanaimo’s new multimillion-dollar spillway at Colliery Dam Park have gone to the Snuneymuxw First Nation.
The city gave Snuneymuxw trees removed from the park during remediation work on the lower dam this month.
City manager Ted Swabey, who made the call, said it was a good decision.
“The First Nations value the lumber. They are using it for firewood and for ceremonial purposes,” he said. “They wanted it. They told the technical committee they wanted it. To me it was a no-brainer.”
A portion of Colliery Dam Park is currently being prepared for construction of an auxiliary spillway, budgeted at $4.2 million. It’s not known how many trees have been taken down to date, but an estimated 30 to 35 were in the footprint of the new spillway and more were in the construction zone, according to Toby Seward, the city’s acting general manager of community development and protective services.