City should add parks, not upgrades

Re: Several assumptions in park survey, Letters, July 10.

To the Editor,

Re: Several assumptions in park survey, Letters, July 10.

Ron Bolin’s letter put me in mind of my own thoughts on the remake of Maffeo Sutton Park a few years ago, which were, basically, “Why? Everybody loves this place.”

When the work was done, the end arrangement appeared to consist of more cobblestones, fewer trees, and the  question ‘why’, repurposed as, “Was it worth it?” still hanging in the air.

Over the years, several different administrations have rearranged the park in some ‘busy with construction’ manner, while people just want to be there and enjoy it.

Perhaps there is a fundamental disconnect between people and the city over what a park should be.

I favour the idea that greenspace should be green, and that a park should preserve space for creatures that live there (not rabbits). People or nature? A park should be a place where the two co-exist.

I moved to Nanaimo in 1980 and thought the parks system here amazing, especially for a community its size. Nanaimo was a city with forested areas and a quiet culture of rugged beauty that sprang effortlessly, unbidden and untended, into full flower every year. We didn’t have to go very far to see nature at work. Nanaimo was a city of marvels.

That changed with the entrance of millenium and megaprojects and Olympic announcements.

Parks are worked over, rather than expanded, and the ‘independents’, those random things that were just there to astonish and reappear next year, are pretty much eliminated.

Nanaimo cleaned up. I have wished sometimes that less was done with our trails and parks rather than more.

Our parks system still offers an incredible experience, but aside from Cable Bay and Neck Point, it hasn’t grown that much. Perhaps money for Phase 2 would be better invested in more parkland, space for people to unwind and trees to live.

Michael Dance