Thanks to a grant from Heritage BC, Island Pathways has just completed a project to install three interpretive panels along the Ganges Village Pathway Network.
Island Pathways collaborated with the Salt Spring Island Historical Society, Japanese Garden Society, the Farmers’ Institute and the local Anglican Parish on the content and design of the panels that illuminate aspects of Salt Spring’s human history. The Partners Creating Pathways Committee designed the podiums to hold the panels and installed them in the ground.
As a press release from Island Pathways explains, the Historical Society and Japanese Garden Society worked together on a panel about Okano Creek that is located on Atkins Road. A panel about the history of the Bittancourt Museum building at the Farmers’ Institute is located on Rainbow Road, and the third panel will be installed by St. Mark’s Cemetery when the pathway is completed on Lower Ganges Road.
Okano Creek is featured on one panel because the creek made it possible for First Nations people to save hours not having to paddle around the north end of the island. The creek route took them from Booth Canal directly to Ganges Harbour, a prime location for digging clams and fishing. The fertile soil of the Sharp Road area along Okano Creek and the temperate climate were also perfect for Japanese-Canadian farmers to set up huge greenhouses and farm field crops.
The Bittancourt Museum building panel on Rainbow Road relates to the island’s agricultural heritage and the museum that tells that story.
For more on this story, see the Dec. 18, 2019 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.