Willows Elementary School Green Space

Willows Elementary School Green Space is in the seaside community of Oak Bay, one of thirteen areas of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. As part of School District 61, Victoria, the school grounds are available outside of school hours. This green space has housed a school since the early nineteen-tens when a single rehabilitated farm house created the first school. The school building was enlarged two years later to house more students.  The current large eight room brick school building was built in nineteen twenty with additions and siesmic upgrading in more recent years. The green space is about two hectares and includes a playground, a couple of grass sport fields that are lined as a running track during track and field season. LOndon plane trees shade the south side of the school while there are many Garry oak trees that line the sport fields on the west side of the green space. There are also swings and asphalt areas with games like four corners as well as basketball keys delineated. Three raised garden beds are found on the north side of the school building. There is some off road parking. A concrete walkway connects Musgrave to Cadboro Bay Road. City buses travel along Cadboro Bay Road.

Geographic Location N48º 26’ 9”  W123º 18’ 38”

Willows Elementary School Green Space can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway. Continue along the Hwy 1 into Victoria as it becomes Douglas Street. Turn off Douglas onto Hillside Avenue to head east. Stay on Hillside Avenue as it becomes Lansdowne Road. Continue along Lansdowne Road to reach Cadboro Bay Road. Turn onto Cadboro Bay Road and look for the school on the left. The school parking area is accessed from Musgrave Road which is reached by turning onto Tod Road or Dalhousie Road then onto Musgrave Road. There is street parking. City buses travel along Cadboro Bay Road.

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Valley View Green Space

Valley View GS 1

The bright red fire hydrant along Valley View Place marks the discrete asphalt walkway into Valley View Green Space. This green space is a series of concrete staircases to a small grass cover area. There are metal handrails along the staircases. The asphalt pathway continues down with five sets of two stairs to Meadow Vale Drive. This pedestrian pathway is used by hikers and dog walkers as well as families as this is a pleasant route to take to reach the playground at Marler Park and the trail along Craigflower Creek. Meadow Vale Green Space, Chalmers Court Park, Riverside Drive Green Space, Thetis Lake Regional Park, Craigflower Creek Park, the Galloping Goose Trail-View Royal, the Trans Canada Trail-View Royal and Francis View Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 27’51” W123°27’16”

 

Valley View Green Space can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway, also called Hwy1. Take Exit 11 onto Six Mile Road to reach the Old Island Highway. Turn left onto the Old Island Highway and stay on the roadway as it becomes Burnside Road West. The roadway passes under the Trans Canada Freeway bridges and continues up the hill to the junction of Burnside Road West and Watkiss Way. Turn left onto Watkiss Way and continue until the road turns right and becomes Highland Road. Take the second right onto Valley View Place and look for parking along the roadway. The green space is in the turnabout for the street. City buses travel along Watkiss Road to the junction with Highland Road.

Quincy Street Green Space

Quincy Street Green Space trail

Quincy Street Green Space has a unique rocky outcrop with a view of the residential neighborhood of View Royal, B.C. There are Garry oak trees and blackberry bushes in this green space which also has a rough pathway along the road right-of-way for Quincy Street. This green space provides a good access to a view point and some extraordinary outdoor art. Chancellor Park, Conard Street Green Space, Knockan Hill Park, Galloping Goose Trail and Victoria General Hospital Green Space are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 27’ 59” W123° 25’ 29”

 

Quincy Street Green Space can be reached from Hwy1. Turn off on Exit 8, Helmcken Road, and head northward toward the Victoria General Hospital. Continue on Helmcken Road to reach Burnside Avenue West. Turn right onto Burnside Avenue West. Take the first right onto Quincy Street and continue to the end of the road. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along Burnside Road West.

Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space

SJD Elementary School mural SJD Elementary School sign

One of several school grounds in the Victoria School District with a weather station, Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space is located in the Fairfield community of Victoria, BC. The green spaces around the school have limited access during school hours. Sir James Douglas was the first governor of British Columbia, a landowner in the Fairfield area of Victoria and interred in Ross Bay Cemetery. Many places in British Columbia are named to recognize Sir Douglas. Garry oak and Douglas-fir trees shade much of the school play areas including part of the two basketball courts and four square game areas. There are a couple of playground areas in this green space. The one next to the basketball courts has a climbing metal dome and multilevel platform monkey bar and climbing apparatus. It is set in a woodchip base. The more elaborate play areas are around the back of the school building. The large multilevel platform climbing set is where everyone can climb, swing, slide and play around. Another small metal rectangular monkey bar is set slight east where the Garry oak trees provide some shade. London plane trees, vine maples and laburnum are also seen on the school grounds. Stream of Dream fish mural lines the chainlink fence along Moss stream has been in place since twenty-o-six. Fairfield Community Garden, Porter Park and Brooke Street Park can be found to the east along Thurlow Street. Moss Rock Park is across Fairfield Road.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 58” W123° 20′ 54″

Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Moss Street. Turn left onto Moss Street and look for the green space to the right. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

Robert J. Porter Park

Porter Park arch Porter Park tree

A one and three quarters of a hectare Garry oak meadow with several rocky outcrops forms the Fairfield neighborhood park called Robert John Porter Park. R.J. Porter Junior was the mayor of the City of Victoria from nineteen nineteen to nineteen twentyone. The park is mostly a  natural rocky meadowland with two playgrounds on sand bases. It borders along Fairfield Road although the granite rock outcrop partially obscures the view of most of the parkland. Picnic tables and benches are found in the park. The playground area off of Kipling Street has a tetter-totter, climbing arch, a high long metal slide with a curly pole and four swings, two with toddler seats. This play lot has several large granite boulders and an excellent alder forested area as nature play sites. The second playground is slight north of the first one and lies near the corner of Thurlow and Kipling Streets. It has colorful plywood structures shaped like a rig truck, slide, swing and covered shelter with benches. For the imaginative parent and child this space is fun. The western end of the park has a large grass covered field. The Fairfield Community Garden, Fairfield Community Center and Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space lie to the west of Porter Park. Just across Kipling Street is Brooke Street Park.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 50” W123° 20′ 44″

Robert Porter Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Kipling Street. Turn right onto Kipling Street and look for the park to the left. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

Burnside Gorge Community Center Green Space

Burnside community center roof strawberries at Burnside community centerAt 471 Cecelia Road is the Burnside Gorge Community Center, a modern building with roof top gardens and the Marilyn Arkell Preschool Playground. It is nestled on the ridge of Cecelia Creek and next to Cecelia Ravine Park. The playground has limited access during school hours. The roof top gardens are elaborate and include signage to help share knowledge of green living techniques. A unique clay wall mural depicts the Burnside Neighborhood is located on the wall of near the entrance off the parking lot. The popular hiking, walking and cycling trail,  the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, is found at the bottom of Cecelia Ravine Park and leads to Cecelia Cove Park and Viaduct Park. Tom Arkell Trail is also found along Cecelia Creek. Burnside Community Campus Green Space is located closer to Jutland Road. This is a beautiful place.

 

Geographic coordinate N48° 26’ 37” W123° 22’ 33”

 

Burnside Community Center Green Space can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn west onto Finlayson Street and continue across Douglas Street and Burnside Road. Take the next right onto Cecelia Road and continue to the junction with Napier Lane. A city bus travels along Gorge Road East from downtown.