Restoration: PHASE 3
DETAILS — SITE AMENDMENTS
TIMING: June 2017 to July 2021
Note: Project work was halted for over a year during this period, due to Covid-10 pandemic restrictions.
FUNDING FOR THIS PHASE INCLUDED:
- Donations from SPLPS membes/supporters
- Westaway Charitable Foundation — donation
- Community Gaming Capital Grant (Province of British Columbia)
RATIONALE AND HERITAGE CONTEXT: The entrance to Lighthouse site is closed to vehicle traffic (except for authorized service vehicles), as it has been for some time — certainly since the site was de-staffed over 30 years ago. A chain link double-gate has provided the security barrier since then. While still serviceable, it had been damaged several times over the years, such that it was quite rickety. Also, it did not provide adequate security when the site was closed, as it was easily by-passed in order to enter the site. This led to issues with trespassing and some vandalism at the site. As the site is now a designated National Heritage Lighthouse, and is in transition to a community park, it is important that it be better protected. Accordingly, it was decided that a more substantive and more secure gate be installed at the site entrance.
ACTIONS TAKEN: Following consultations, a design for the new gate was developed by Society Volunteers. It was important that the design reflect the character of the Lighthouse site – essentially as a “workplace”, with a utilitarian, institutional ambience. The design, therefore, was kept simplistic, with clean lines and without embellishments.
Harbour Door Ltd. of Victoria was engaged to install the gate – which was double (8ft) swing gates, mounted on posts on either side of the driveway, with a separate 3 ft pedestrian gate to the side. The gate height is 7ft.
Access Trail / Nature Trail
RATIONALE AND HERITAGE CONTEXT: Pedestrian access to the lightouse site, from the parking lot, is via a section of the loop trail to the lighthouse gate. From there, access to the lower section of the site (including the historic structures was via the service road. This access was fairly steep and rather strenuous (particularly on the return journey). From consultations with site users, it was proving quite difficult for many with mobility limitations (in particular, seniors). Also, it was, at times, creating safety conflicts with service vehicles using the same roadway. While there is no particular heritage context, it was decided that a more user-friendly trail would benefit many users and improve visitor management at the site.
ACTIONS TAKEN: After consultations with users, including seniors and advocates for those with mobility challenges, it was decided that a “nature trail” approach –winding through the upper, wooded area of the site – would provide the broadest range of benefits, while also improving safety and making the access less strenuous. A local trail builder (Lorien Arnold, from Sooke) was engaged to help find an appropriate route for the trail, to design the trail details and build the trail.
A pathway through the forested area was cleared by hand, leveled (to the extent feasible), and a gravel base laid in. A wood chip surface was then applied. The trail varies in steepness, but due to additional switch backs it is generally easier to walk. This trail has been named “Jennie’s Trail”, in recognition of Jenny Caruthers, one of the Society’s earliest driving forces.
Also, to make the trail even more user friendly and easier for seniors and others to manage, a bench was installed at a viewpoint approximately mid-way along the trail. This bench recognizes Mary Brown, a local resident and long-time Lighthouse supporter, and a strong advocate for making the site more accessible.