Big bucks bring big changes to Cowichan park

Think you’ve seen everything there is to see at Bright Angel Park? Think again.

The park, located 10 km south of Duncan in Glenora, has been under construction this summer, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District announced last week that many of the new amenities are now complete, as the rejuvenation project hits the midway point.

"The angels are looking down upon it," said an enthusiastic area director Loren Duncan. "It went from being rundown and threadbare."

Finished projects include new washrooms fitness stations, an outdoor classroom amphitheatre, an accessible trail loop, nature playscape area, habitat protection fencing and parking areas.

Still to come over the next six months are a new playground, playfield upgrades, general landscaping, site furniture, and improved signage.

This is the first significant work that’s been done to the park since the CVRD took it over in 2000, Duncan said and it’s an "overwhelming improvement ". The park has been maintained on a shoestring budget that did not allow for upgrades, and has seen huge use by the community which was a two-edged sword.

"I t ‘s loved to death," said Duncan, explaining that overuse had contributed to some deterioration.

Funding for the project came in 2012 by way of a $400,000 from the Community Recreation Program through the B.C. Ministry of Community, Sport and Culture and $60,000 from the Federal Gas Tax Fund.

The park is open to the public as the work continues.

"CVRD Parks and Trails staff advises the public that this project is still underway, with park construction activities limited to areas adjacent to the upper playfield during the next few months," said Brian Farquhar, CVRD Parks manager. "Park visitors are asked to follow the direction of signage in areas under construction to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience while visiting the park.