A picnic table tossed into the forest beside the campsite at Marble River Campground. (Zoe Ducklow)

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

A picnic table is hacked up. One had been tossed into the forest. Some are missing altogether.

This was the scene at Marble River Campground after the last weekend in May. The 16-spot recreation site on the north Island is owned by Western Forest Products (WFP) and managed by B.C. Recreation Sites and Trails (RST).

A notice went up on the RST website, saying “the site will remain closed until further notice.”

By Wednesday, June 3, the site was tidy, but damage was still visible. Nearly every picnic table had been damaged, some to the point of being unusable. Some were gone altogether, and one was still upside-down in the forest. It was obvious a large campfire had been built far beyond the iron confines of a camp grate.

Several trees were cut down, although this is part of danger tree removal done by WFP.

The user-maintained campground on the Port Alice Road has a boat launch, day use area and a trailhead that leads into the Marble River Provincial Park to the west.

RST expects to have repairs completed by late June.

Recreation Officer Graham Cameron manages the Discovery Coast region — six million hectares of the north Island, some 400 sites and roughly 1,000 kilometres of trail — with a budget he says isn’t large enough to buy a house. He’s frustrated that vandalism forces him to reallocate that small budget to repairs, when he could be investing it to improve the site for the users.

Marble River gets vandalized every year — including drivers doing donuts in the gravel parking lot and damage to picnic tables — but this year is the worst he’s seen. Cameron had planned to install a common fire pit and picnic shelters in the day area, which gets the most use at Marble River.

“With the same type of damage every year, it leads us to believe it could be the same folks doing it. I don’t want to point fingers, but it seems like it could be people who live in the area doing this.”

RST relies on the public to report wrongdoing. Unlike BC Parks, RST sites mostly do not have wardens on site. Suspicious activity can be reported to the RAPP line: 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Outdoors and Recreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Nine of the damaged picnic tables at Marble River Campground. (Zoe Ducklow)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria Flamenco Festival goes virtual for 2020 event

The show will go online from July 23 to 26

Metchosin bird card project finds its wings

On display at Metchosin ArtPod from July 10 to 12

UVic research team creating virus-resistant washbasins for post-pandemic world

Civil engineer Rishi Gupta hopes basins will be installed in public spaces

Walk for Peace takes a virtual turn for Victoria Hospice

Residents can still register for Gordy Dodd’s 11th annual fundraiser

United Way Greater Victoria launches Hi Neighbour program in Esquimalt

Feedback sought from residents about funding for micro community projects

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read