Photo courtesy Save Miracle Beach Provincial Park Estuary Trail
MIRACLE BEACH, B.C. – If you’re passionate about the Estuary Trail at Miracle Beach Park and would like to see it re-opened, tonight’s meeting at the Oyster River Fire hall is a must attend.
The Saratoga and Miracle Beach Residents’ Association (SAMBRA) is hosting one of the association’s regular quarterly meetings at the Oyster River Fire hall tonight (Tuesday) from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
And the trail closure is one of the main items on the docket.
“The closure of the Estuary Trail at Miracle Beach Park is one of the items on our agenda because a lot of people are asking about it,” SAMBRA chair Curtis Scoville said.
SAMBRA will also be touching on a number of local issues, and CVRD director Edwin Grieve is scheduled to provide infrastructure updates in the community.
Regarding the trail, Scoville said there are two organizations supporting its re-opening, one of which is the Friends of Miracle Beach Provincial Park headed by Karin Koschack.
“She asked me if that was something that I would support because she knew that I had a Facebook page called Save the Estuary Trail,” Scoville said, noting that “(BC) Parks tried to close the trail back in 2011 after some flooding and the community rallied to say ‘No let’s keep it open.’”
However, Scoville added, with rot on one of its boardwalks, BC Parks decided to close the trail for safety reasons.
“They have removed not only the walkway that was certainly unsafe… literally the boards that people were walking on were beginning to break and fall through,” he said. “They removed that walkway but they also removed another boardwalk which was unchanged from how it normally has been for a number of years.
Scoville said that BC Parks also removed “a perfectly sound bridge.”
He said this has park users concerned that the parks department hasn’t consulted with the public on closing the trail.
“They have simply consulted with themselves, decided that they were going to close that trail permanently, put it back to its natural state,” Scoville said.
He said the residents’ association doesn’t typically take a position on these kinds of matters “but maintaining or encouraging public access to public amenities is certainly part of our mandate, so it’s an important item for us to bring to the table.”
Scoville said BC Parks was invited to the meeting but noted that it would rather plan its own public information meeting.
“But they haven’t set a date for that, yet,” he said.
Tonight’s meeting also includes:
Mosquito Management Options,
Oyster River Flood Risk Assessment,
Miracle Beach Park Estuary Trail Closure, and
Black Creek Oyster Bay Water Service.