The sale of the Dunsmuir property by the University of Victoria, while benefiting the parties involved, will come at a great cost to the residents and especially students of North Saanich who hike to the separate, lower loop trail. They have been using this walking trail for many years for a single purpose: to be healthy.
The students at Kelset Elementary will no longer have free access to this natural forest. Our children spend less time in nature than we did, and even less time than their grandparents and great-grandparents. So what will be left for their children growing up in a time when the environment will be the No. 1 global issue?
It is hard to put a value on the benefits of children being regularly immersed in nature and equally hard to put a cost on taking it away.
Our children need unlimited access to nature. We should hope and plan for them to not need a centre for mental health and addictions in their community.
The proposed linear trail, while required for rezoning, will not replace the loop trail for this purpose. The new trail will lead directly behind North Saanich Rod and Gun Club, not a good fit for elementary students.
The Dunsmuir property is zoned educational and the 25-acre loop trail would have an immeasurable benefit to our community as a dedicated park with a focus on education: physical education, First Nations education, environmental education and historical education.
Jennifer Langard, co-president
Kelset Parent Advisory Council
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