CRD takes responsibility for United Church Meadow

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The Capital Regional District’s Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission has assumed responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Salt Spring United Church meadow located at 111 Hereford Avenue in Ganges.

“The church meadow has been accessible to the public as a ‘park’ in the centre of town since the 1980s and the CRD looks forward to continuing this tradition through a license of occupation,” a news release issued Monday stated.

The meadow is accessed from the churchyard by a bridge, two entrance points from the Island Savings parking lot on McPhillips Road and two entry points from Hereford Avenue.

The CRD notes that in recent years the meadow has increasingly become a place where people are conducting themselves outside of the church’s intended use. With limited enforcement options and a desire to keep the space open for public use, the church requested the CRD assume responsibility for the community space and thereby implement the ability to enforce CRD park bylaws.

“Community parks are vitally important to establishing and maintaining the quality of life in our community,” said Gary Holman, Salt Spring Island Electoral Area Director. “I am pleased that through this new partnership with the Salt Spring United Church we can keep this green space open to the public for future generations to enjoy.”

“The Salt Spring Island United Church is excited to be working with PARC with regard to our meadow,” added Marilynne Cunningham, chair of the Salt Spring Island United Church board. “We acknowledge the work you are planning to do and trust that you will take into consideration the needs of the marginalized people of our community.“

The CRD invites the public to continue the use and enjoyment of this green meadow space within the parameters of the local CRD Community Parks Bylaw. Watch for upcoming changes to enhance the space and contact the office for a park use permit to reserve for future public or private events.

At this time PARC asks people to respect COVID-19 protocols on physical distancing and gatherings.

“The health and safety of the public and staff is our top priority. Distancing is your responsibility. Failure to adhere may jeopardize public access to parks.”

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