Sidney residents have until May 31 to submit their comments on potential improvements on Reay Creek Park.
Potential improvements include ongoing restoration and management of natural areas in the park, the removal of invasive species, improved signage and trails, improved accessibility and improved seating and gathering areas.
Residents can access that survey at surveymonkey.com/r/XTXD8MX.
Sidney and North Saanich are asking residents in both communities to weigh it on plans to create a pedestrian path connecting Reay Creek Park in North Saanich and Peter Grant Park in Sidney. That survey is online at connectnorthsaanich.ca/reay-creek and open until June 21.
According to a municipal staff, Reay Creek bears the name of brothers William and Charles Reay, who settled the area in 1875. A local farmer installed a dam on the creek to create Reay Creek Pond in the 1950s and the Town of Sidney obtained the land where Reay Creek Pond lies in the 1980s to create a dedicated park, which has become popular because of its birdwatching among other features.
The area has been the site of significant investments in recent years with the municipality having announced significant completion of its Reay Creek dam renovation project in early November 2021. The creek bears salmon and the improved dam includes a fish ladder, which was ready for that year’s salmon run. This said, some work continued into 2021.
This work coincided with also substantially completed efforts by Transport Canada to remediate the pond after the federal government had taken full responsibility for contaminating the area through its activities on nearby Victoria International Airport.
During those project, the federal ministry of forest lands, natural resource operations and rural development requested that Reay Creek be renamed to KELSET, which is the original name for the creek in the SENCOTEN language of the WSANEC people. The B.C. Geographical Names Office is actively working on this renaming process, which will include seeking community feedback, according to municipal staff.
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