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Kim Smith | profile | all galleries >> Colquitz River Trail tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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Colquitz River Trail

One of my enduring memories from childhood was building a tree fort next to Colquitz Creek from detritus derived from an adjacent roadside and the creek bed. Colquitz Creek, a small urban waterway located in Saanich Municipality... part of the Victoria metropolitan area on southern Vancouver Island was often viewed as a dumping ground for waste and building materials for many decades in the early part of the last century. Over the years that followed my early attempts at "structure building", volunteers and the municipality, at the urging of people with foresight and determination, rehabilitated the creek and surrounding lands. The creek reverted to an important fish bearing watercourse and a trail system was developed that incorporated the sensitive streamside lands, residential roadways, a number of parks and some key wetlands that are home to birds and other wildlife. From one end to the other, the distance is only about 5 kilometres... a two hour return hike, but our hike was a bit over 4 hours as we stopped to take photos, searched unsuccessfully for 4 reported nesting black necked stilts at Panama Flats and craned our necks to identify the plethora of birds that make this trail system home. As we wandered the trail, we thought about how many citizens were undoubtedly unaware of this great resource and more distressingly, about how many of them probably don't appreciate the value they are receiving for the money they spend in taxes to maintain this trail system and its component parks. As we have found, in our hikes throughout the world, "locals" are often the least aware of what they have in their own backyards.