Healthy Naturalist

Ron Weir Green Space

Ron Weir Green Space is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia.  Mr. Wier grew up in the Metchosin area since his great grandparents arrived in the mid eight-teen hundreds on the third voyage from Britain of the barque rigged Norman Morison. This trail celebrates his passion for the historical and ecological values of this area and long heritage of care for livestock. This narrow green space has a four hundred meter long single track footpath that connects from William Head Road to Pearson College Drive. The gravel and woodchip pathway is marked by trail posts at both ends and borders along the fence line of homesteads in this waterfront community. Sandgate Green Space, Pearson College Green Space and the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 17” W123º 32’ 53”

Ron Weir Green Space can be reached from Highway 1 when you exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway exit. Head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road past the junction with Happy Valley Road. The name changes to William Head Road. Continue along toward Pearson College to reach Sandgate Road. Turn left onto the road. Park near the junction with WHR. The trail is across the road and up the hill about 100 meters. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Sandgate Green Space

Sandgate Green Space is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia.  Located on the edge of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sandgate Green Space leads to a long sandy beach with various names such as Weir Beach, Taylor Beach or Parry Beach. The green space is border by residential and summer homes as well as a recreational vehicle resort and its seasonal lagoon. There are wonderful views of areas to the east: Metchosin, Colwood, Victoria and Oak Bay communities. The coastal and olympic mountain ranges provide a sharp contrast the ocean waters when viewed from Sandgate Green Space. This is a good place to launch personal water craft to explore the shorelines. The William Head Penitentiary is on the peninsula to the south. Devonian Regional Park, the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin, Pearson College Green Space and Ron Weir Green Space are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 18” W123º 32’ 40”

Sandgate Green Space can be reached from Highway 1 when you exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway exit. Head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road past the junction with Happy Valley Road. The name changes to William Head Road. Continue along toward Pearson College to reach Sandgate Road. Turn left onto the road. There is a small parking area near the end. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Devonian Regional Park

Devonian Regional Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This ocean front park was acquired from the Devonian Foundation Alberta, formed by the lawyer, oil man and philanthropic Eric Harvie, and the provincial government in 1980. It is one hundred and thirty five square kilometers of forest area with Sherwood Pond providing a wetland oasis amongst the Douglas fir and Garry oak woodlands. The kinglet, great horned owl and pileated woodpecker might be sighted in the park. This wildlife sanctuary is tucked into the gently rolling landscape between Metchosin farms. A bridle trail lies along the southern perimeter of the park. There are parking and picnic areas. Sherwood Creek flows into the pond and acts as guide for the well-trodden footpaths. The Douglas fir and arbutus trees in the park can be explored by strolling along the gravel trails. The main trail leads through the forest about twelve hundred meters to reach the cobble and pebble Taylor Beach that lies on Parry Bay. The beach overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. Witty’s Lagoon can be reached by strolling along the water eastward along Taylor Beach. The distance is about six kilometer round trip. Taylor Green Space is about five hundred meters eastward along the waters edge. At the park entrance is a small parking area with toilets. Benches can be found in this park too.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 57” W123º 32’ 32”

Devonian Regional Park can be reached from Highway 1 when you exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway exit. Head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road past the junction with Happy Valley Road. The name changes to William Head Road. Continue along until you see the signpost for the park on the left. There is small parking area. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Lombard Green Space

 

Lombard Green Space is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia.  Lombard Green Space hosts forty-four Lombardy poplar trees  (Populus nigra x trichocarpa ) that were planted in the late eighteen hundreds. These trees were planted in 1877 by Mr. Hans Lars Helgesen along the drive that led to his family home off of William Head Road. A heritage sign stands beside the street sign marking the significance of this green space. A foot and bridle path lies along side the roadway. These row trees are an exotic species that get their name from the Lombardy plains in Italy. The trees were introduced into the United Kingdom and eventually to Metchosin to enhance the landscape of the farm estates of the new residents. This poplar has a grey to green bark which becomes thickened and blackened with furrows as seen on these older trunks. The triangular or diamond shaped leaves are bright green and help to form a windscreen in this farmland area. Taylor Green Space, Weir Green Space, the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin and Weir Green Space are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 59” W123º 31’ 57”

Lombard Green Space can be reached from Highway 1, the TransCanada Hwy. Exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway overpass and head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road to Lombard Road. Turn right onto Lombard Road with caution as the road is narrow between the rows of trees. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Taylor Green Space

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Taylor Green Space is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Located on the edge of Strait of Juan de Fuca, Taylor Beach is rock and cobble beach. It is between Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park and Devonian Regional Park. Mitchell Park with Seabluff Trail and Madrill Green Space are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 59” W123º 31’ 57”

Taylor Green Space can be reached from Highway 1, the TransCanada Hwy. Exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway overpass and head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road to Taylor Road. Turn left onto Taylor Road and continue down to the small parking area. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Mitchell Park with Seabluff Trail

Mitchel Park with Seabluff Trail is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Long time Metchosin residents, Geoff and B.H. Mitchell donated the narrow strip of land to form Mitchell Park.  The park hosts a grass and dirt trail through an active grazing field and a grove of Douglas fir trees. There are three memorial plaques commemorating Mr. Mitchell, Ms. Sonja Young and Mr. Gord Reimer. Many of the bridle trails throughout Metchosin were established due to the efforts of the horsewoman Ms. Young. Metchosin Search and Rescue was founded by Mr. Reimer and his honoring bench is located a terrific view point among the Douglas fir trees in the parkland. The Seabluff Trail consists of a one hundred and one kilometer rectangular-shaped trail. The length of one perimeter lies along the ridge of the fifty meter high cliffs and provides fantastic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains in the State of Washington.  The trail leads around an open field that is not part of the parkland so refrain from letting dogs roam freely. The southwestern section of the trail is through a Douglas fir grove with several roots exposed on the well-trodden rough path. The northwestern perimeter trail is through a lower lying terrain that can be sodden and marshy. Witty Lagoon Regional Park, Madrill Green Space and Metchosin Elementary Green Space are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 22’ 47” W123º 31’ 25”

Mitchell Park with Seabluff Trail can be reached from Highway 1, the TransCanada Hwy. Exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway overpass and head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road to Wootton Road. Turn left onto Wootton Road where there is limited roadside parking near the end. There are two gates at this access point; one at the end of the road. The other gate is just to the right of the small turnabout. Alternative access is from the end of Parry Cross Road where there is limited roadside parking near the gated entrance. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

St Marys’ Green Space

The grounds of Saint Marys’ are two separate green spaces that host buildings of the third oldest Anglican congregation on Vancouver Island. Located in Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District, St Marys’ Church heritage site, at 4354, was created in the late eighteen seventies. It is used mainly for periodic events. The newer building and grounds border along Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park, about two kilometers to the east.

The heritage church green space, St Mary the virgin, has a welcoming garden among the final resting areas of the many of the earlier pioneering families of the Metchosin area. The grounds were donated for consecration by the first initiate Mr. John Witty. The garden has several unique trees and shrubs including a weeping Lawson cypress planted in about eighteen eighty eight. A coronation English oak was planted on the 25th of June in nineteen thirty-seven. In the springtime the burial grounds are covered with the flowers of the white lilies. The garden is maintained by volunteers. A second building hosts a preschool with a small playground shaded by the arbutus and Douglas fir grove.

The green space at 4125 Metchosin Road hosts the parish, St Mary the Incarnation, with a large paved parking area. These are surrounded by a grass covered area with a border of large Douglas fir trees to the south. Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park is beside this green space.

Geographical location N48º 23’ 18” W123º 31’ 34”

St Marys’ Green Space can be reached from Highway 1, the TransCanada Hwy. Exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway overpass and head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. One church with its large parking area lies immediately beside the lagoon parking lot. The other church grounds is about two kilometers along Metchosin Road. There is limited roadside parking along Metchosin Road near the gated entrance. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Further information about the heritage sites can be found at websites for Old Cemeteries in BC, Heritage BC and the church.