VICTORIA — Victoria residents can now enjoy a newly expanded Songhees Park. It is the first park developed in partnership between the City of Victoria and the Songhees Nation.
The new area connects people with Lekwungen art and culture and offers places to relax, gather and connect with nature.
It is located at the site of the former Songhees Village and Reserve. The Songhees Nation identified priorities for the park, including the importance of environmental revitalization and stewardship, the expression of Lekwungen identity and culture, and the education of visitors about the Lekwungen.
New seating walls in the park feature a Lekwungen canoe paddle design created by the city’s Indigenous artist-in-residence, Dylan Thomas, working in collaboration with representatives of the Songhees Nation. City officials added that co-ordination between the city and the Songhees Nation will continue over the coming year to create additional artwork and an interactive educational program for park visitors to enjoy.
The 1.8-acre expansion boosts the size of the existing park by 25 per cent and transforms a former roadway into a hillside greenspace, consisting of a Garry oak maritime meadow and coastal bluff gardens, accessible pathways, elegant lighting, extensive seating and gathering spaces. A new timber viewing platform offers dynamic views of the Inner Harbour. The park also includes 55 new trees and 55 species of Indigenous plants that will provide habitat for pollinators and wildlife.
Songhees Park is a key connection point in Victoria’s active transportation network, linking the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, the E&N Rail Trail, the Songhees Walkway and the Johnson Street Bridge.
The city noted that the $3 million project was completed on budget.
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