New talking circle complete, vandals target bench at Somenos Marsh Conservation Area

Vandals target Somenos boardwalk memorial bench

A memorial bench at the Somenos Open Air Classroom boardwalk has been vandalized, leaving the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society executive director Paul Fletcher asking ‘why?’ (Barry Hetschko photo)

A memorial bench at the Somenos Open Air Classroom boardwalk has been vandalized, leaving the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society executive director Paul Fletcher asking ‘why?’ (Barry Hetschko photo)

It’s a case of good news and bad news over at the Somenos marsh.

The good news is, according to the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society, that the new Peninsula Co-op Talking Circle project in the Somenos Marsh Conservation Area is now complete. All it took was the addition of an information sign, installed by Malcolm MacLeod, to finish the job.

“The new sign describing the fruit trees newly planted around the Talking Circle, is now installed thanks to Malcolm who built and installed the sign structure,” said the Society. “The tree descriptions begin with their Hul’q’umi’num’ names.”

Peninsula Co-op was integral to the project, said the Society’s executive director Paul Fletcher, as the company provided financial support.

With the good news comes that bad and the bad news is that vandals have destroyed one of the memorial benches along the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom’s boardwalk.

“Who would do this and why would they do this?” wondered the Society. “What a disappointment for the bench donor who is memorializing lost ones on the bench plaque. We understand that people have issues but everything in the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom is built by volunteers using community donations.”

What’s more, a small fire needed to be extinguished on the viewing tower Sunday, May 8.

With summer on the way, an increase in vandalism is expected and the Society hopes that any troubling or recent damage will be reported to them.

“We built this to be a place of tranquility to encourage people to enjoy what nature provides,” the Society said. “As to be expected, we are also now looking for donations to repair or replace this bench which costs over $1,000 when purchased new.”

To donate, or to learn more about the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society and all of their projects visit www.somenosmarsh.com



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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The information sign, the Peninsula Co-op Talking Circle project’s final piece, has been installed and the project is now complete. (Barry Hetschko photo)

The information sign, the Peninsula Co-op Talking Circle project’s final piece, has been installed and the project is now complete. (Barry Hetschko photo)

The information sign, the Peninsula Co-op Talking Circle project’s final piece, has been installed and the project is now complete. (Barry Hetschko photo)

The information sign, the Peninsula Co-op Talking Circle project’s final piece, has been installed and the project is now complete. (Barry Hetschko photo)