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Beacon Hill Park, and the friends there of.


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#21 gumgum

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 12:00 PM

They've dug up the old water park and put up construction fencing around the future site of the new watering can.
Anybody happen to save that scanned rendering of what it will look like? Can't find it.

#22 m0nkyman

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 12:39 PM

Special events deteriorate our park and it will only get worse in the coming years. We need to use Beacon Hill Park as a park and put special events somewhere else.

:shock: :shock:
I'm afraid I'm going to issue you a ticket folks. You may think this is a good spot for a picnic, but it falls under the no special events in Beacon Hill Park bylaw. And you're crushing a heritage dandelion....

#23 benj

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 03:18 PM

where the heck would the freeway go to???


the idea was to put a continuous highway through the city core, it would have connected with vic west by a bridge after looping through james bay and then presumably link up with the trans canada somewhere

#24 djp

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 02:09 PM

Well, as much as that lady sounds crazy...its true that there are some very rare native wildflowers in Beacon Hill Park that have been largely extirpated elsewhere due to (what else) suburban sprawl. So it is entirely worthwhile to protect them.

At the same time, the best way to protect them is not necessarily to present yourself as a bat-sh*t crazy old lady.

#25 Mike K.

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 02:16 PM

I can see the need for protecting flora that is endangered in our area, but Beacon Hill park is a park, not a sanctuary. The friends are trying to protect the park by labelling it a santuary one day and a park the next, depending on who is using it and what their demographic is. They even opposed the children's play area being revamped by citing that it would encourage more use and destroy the ambiance of the park, er, sanctuary.

It's nutty.

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#26 djp

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 02:49 PM

How about labeling parts of it as a sanctuary? I am thinking mainly of the un-landscaped, semi-"natural" areas such as Beacon Hill itself, which despite heavy foot traffic does seem to have a large population of native wildflowers. Maybe they could install some actual designated paths along the hill and encourage people to stick to those areas?

I realize that Beacon Hill is not technically a sanctuary, but since no such thing exists anywhere in Victoria proper, you kind of have to work with what you've got.

#27 Mike K.

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 02:53 PM

Yeah I can see that. Education would definitely go a lot further than outright bans on activities that most sensible people expect to be able to do in a public park.

Ah, the "friends," what will they come up with next ;)

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#28 Holden West

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 02:06 PM

An excerpt from Judy Oberlander's talk at the Victoria 2020 conference:

Boston Public Garden is not unlike Beacon Hill Park. How many Victoria tourists find their way to Beacon Hill Park?

That's a good point. Is the current west entrance to Beacon Hill park inviting to exploring tourists? Is it even visible? Is there any indication of what lays in waiting for them? Or is there a group of citizens that would prefer that the park was "Victoria's secret"?

I'm not saying this is the solution here, but Boston's urban park has a clearly defined entrance:



With the possibility of a new art gallery on the border of the Park (an area identified by the City as a tourist district) the question of a new park/Downtown interface must be addressed.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#29 gumgum

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 03:10 PM

As a former tourist to Vic, I can tell you Beacon is pretty evident as soon as you make it to d/t. If you're coming from the pat bay or Highway 1, and enter the city, you naturally want to continue south to see what's down there. Beacon Hill is hard to miss once you make it to Douglas south of Superior.
Walking tourists have easy access to free tourist maps that include BH as one of the destinations to visit.

#30 G-Man

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 03:11 PM

I would love to see something like that at Douglas and Superior

Visit my blog at: https://www.sidewalkingvictoria.com 

 

It has a whole new look!

 


#31 gumgum

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:52 AM

Oh no, Birdzilla! Herons might be gone for good
Experts say voracious eagle may have doomed abandoned heron rookery at Beacon Hill Park

Carolyn Heiman, Times Colonist
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2007


They call her Birdzilla. During the weekend, she bullied more than a hundred nesting herons in Beacon Hill Park from their rookery.

Bird experts fear the large and rare urban nesting area, which has mesmerized tourists and residents alike, might be abandoned for good.

"I feel such a sense of desolation," said Rhiannon Hamdi, who lives near the area and has been a volunteer heron counter for the provincial Environment Ministry since 2002.
"To me it is like looking at a graveyard," said Hamdi, who photographed what she believes is an elderly female bald eagle aggressively raiding eggs and chicks from 71 nests high up in trees near Douglas Street.

"The predation by the eagle was so overwhelming. The birds could not re-lay their eggs. They will re-lay a couple of times if they think they can make a go of it. But they were being attacked day and night. ... The first wave of abandonment started early last week. Then, on the weekend, another group decided they had enough. Once it starts, it tends to snowball."

Hamdi conservatively estimates that the eagle ate 39 chicks and at least 187 eggs.

Eagle attacks on the eggs and chicks aren't new. But this time, bird lovers and a provincial biologist fear the herons won't return next year to the spot that had been one of the largest urban heron rookeries.

"I don't know what will happen next year," said Trudie Chatwin, a provincial endangered-species biologist. "But they tend to sustain predation one year and maybe the next year, but then they abandon the area completely.

"It was so sad for me to see that," said Chatwin, who was in Victoria watching as the herons left, turning their backs on nests the males and females had been sitting on in turns. "That's a flagship colony because it offers such as great opportunity for people to see them."

Chatwin said she'll propose that an osprey nesting pad be built in one of the park trees or erected on a telephone pole. The fish-eating birds tend to deter eagles.
n the meantime, Chatwin and Hamdi are asking people to report any signs that the Beacon Hill Park herons are relocating to other areas. What they're looking for is evidence of herons building nests. While it would be later than usual -- herons typically build their nests in March -- it's possible they might rebuild and successfully hatch eggs elsewhere.

While Hamdi admits feeling anger toward the eagle, "we have to remember it has a right to live. ... I'm obviously upset by what has happened, but we've never seen a full complement of bald eagles in the area. Maybe we are seeing what nature is intending."

Hamdi adds that the eagle's habit of feeding on heron eggs and chicks might "be indicative that we have interfered too much with nature. Is this what she would do if there were enough fish and game? At the end of the day, is it her fault or ours, and I kind of say it is ours."

The heron colony at Beacon Hill Park had enjoyed steady growth since the late 1980s, when some of the herons were first observed to be nesting in the area by Goodacre Lake. By 2002 there were around 100 nests, but numbers slipped to 97 in 2006 and 71 this year. The only bright light this year is that the birds picked new trees to nest in after winter storms ruined their favourites. It was seen as a sign that the prehistoric-looking creatures still favoured the nesting area.

Other smaller colonies are in Saanichton, near the Super 8 motel, and near Mystic Pond in Cadboro Bay. The Beacon Hill birds might join those colonies, Chatwin said.

Development on the Island puts pressure on the endangered bird, particularly on the east coast south of Campbell River. "The birds need to nest within five kilometres of a proper marine feeding ground," said Chatwin, adding those types of areas are getting increasingly scarce.

Hamdi said a heron named Henry did return to the Beacon Hill Park on Monday although he and his mate gave up on their nest three weeks ago. Henry has become accustomed to being fed each day by Hamdi, who believes his habit started years ago after the bird fell from his nest and was hand-raised. However, another Victoria resident, Arthur Sager, wrote the Times Colonist to say he believes the bird that accepts food from Hamdi is actually a son of Henry, who died several years ago.

Anyone seeing herons starting a new nesting area or joining another colony is asked to call Chatwin at 250-751-3100.


© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007



#32 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 09:05 AM

Too bad the eagle didn't instead take out some of those [url=http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=6bdf17fc-9520-45b6-ba50-add2e8ec34ea&k=28492:6cf02]"domestic" cats that irresponsible owners let roam around outdoors[/url:6cf02]. The raccoons could use some back-up ...
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#33 aastra

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 10:33 AM

Hamdi adds that the eagle's habit of feeding on heron eggs and chicks might "be indicative that we have interfered too much with nature. Is this what she would do if there were enough fish and game? At the end of the day, is it her fault or ours, and I kind of say it is ours."


Good gravy, what a silly thing to say. It's nobody's fault and it's also nothing new for eagles to prey on herons. Have a peek at this 1988 study of bald eagle predation on heron nests:

http://www.jstor.org/view/07386028/ap050014/05a00130/0

If anything, the recent events in Beacon Hill Park only tell us what we already knew...that the bald eagles have made a serious comeback. They're as common in urban areas now as deer, bears, otters, coyotes, skunks, squirrels, raccoons, alligators, beavers, moose...and herons.

Where do people get this idea that wild animals have some obligation to please us? It's an eagle. It couldn't care less that some human beings might be turned off by its meal choices. And the herons aren't sappy Disney-esque "good animal" victims, they're herons. Give them some credit, for crying out loud. Nobody cries when the herons make out like bandits on fish trapped in a tidal pool.

When a shark attacks a swimmer, is somebody to blame? The shark has every right to chomp on the swimmer, just as the swimmer has every right to swim in the ocean. Is there blame to be assigned if I eat a trout today?

#34 aastra

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 11:01 AM

These folks say it better than I did:

Vennesland said the increase in Eagle predation on Heron nesting colonies might be caused by the ten-fold increase in Eagle populations in B. C. since the 1960's. Eagle populations were previously at an artificially low number because of human poisons. Since pesticides like DDT were banned and hunters were required to use steel shot instead of toxic lead shot, Eagle populations could be back up to normal levels. It is also possible Eagles are targeting Herons more often because of decreased salmon and other fish stocks. Biologist Ann Eissinger believes the collapse of in-shore fish stocks is affecting Eagle behaviour, especially that of juveniles.

Park visitors tend to identify with the prey more than with the predator, but Vennesland pointed out both birds have existed since the ice age. “We should not put Herons higher than Eagles in value just because they are the ones getting eaten.”


http://www.islandnet.com/beaconhillpark/articles/114_eagleattack.htm

#35 gumgum

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 11:20 AM

Heron rookeries don't stay put forever. Instances like these are common and always trigger the herons to move-on to another, safer sight. This site was simply a victim of it's own success. Any bird expert could have predicted this.
I wouldn't be surprised if by next year the entire rookery is deserted.

#36 Holden West

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 04:52 PM

Cool pics in the T/C:





Herons try to protect their nests from attacking eagle at Beacon Hill Park. Photos by Rhiannon Hamdi
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#37 gumgum

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:05 PM

^Wow!

#38 gumgum

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:43 AM

Beacon Hill Park marks 125th year
Carolyn Heiman, Times Colonist
Published: Monday, May 28, 2007


Beacon Hill Park is turning 125 years old and a weekend of family orientated celebrations will mark the anniversary.

Cake cutting, face painting and musical entertainment are planned over two days, June 16 and June 17. On each day the events at the Cameron Bandshell run from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

A new map highlighting both contemporary and aboriginal places of significance in the park will also be launched.
The events will most certainly be free as charging admission for anything in the park is forbidden along with any commercial activity.

The park was granted in trust to the City of Victoria from the province in 1882 and conditions on its use were laid out at that time. Informal and legal efforts to ease the restrictions -- which have even chased fundraising events from the park -- have failed.

Over the years a number of legal challenges have arisen around the trust and various groups, including the city of Victoria, have bumped heads with defenders of the trust who most recently call themselves the Friends of Beacon Hill Park.

As early as 1884 a court ruled that an agricultural hall built in the park was improper under the trust.

Then, more than a 100 years later, a similar court case pitted the city in a battle against citizens worried that the park would be used for music festivals with paid admission.

In 2002, in response to the court decision, the city created an 85-page rule book outlining what activities can take place in the park. The rules have cleared the park of fundraising events, including runs to raise money for cancer and heart research. Luminara, the popular lantern festival in July organized by the Inter Cultural Association, has continued but is only allowed to accept voluntary donations.

For the most part, the rule book has established an uneasy truce between the city and Friends of Beacon Hill Park.

But as recently as this month, two park advocates appealed to the city to tear down the police horse barn built near the children's petting farm and no longer in use after Victoria police cut the patrol from its budget.

Instead, the city voted to allow the petting farm use of the barn but will return a percentage of the surrounding paddock back to Garry oak meadow.


© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007



#39 gumgum

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 03:21 PM

Betty, Betty, Betty... :roll: :smt009
[url:[url]http://www.islandnet.com/beaconhillpark/contents/chapter21.htm]From[/url] the Beacon Hill Park History site:[/url]

Removal of park buildings proposed

In a letter to the Times Colonist, Betty Gibbens wrote: “It’s a good time to remove the maintenance yard in Beacon Hill Park...which reduces the park by one acre, and purchase a new location. The many parked vehicles, motorized equipment, gas pumps, work shops, storage sheds, offices, etc. are an eyesore, inappropriate on land meant to be park environment. Similarly, the space taken up by the house-size police horse barn is no longer needed. It, too, should be relocated, or alternatively, demolished and returned for increasingly needed, bona fide park use.” (Times Colonist, Sept. 25, 2006, p. A9) In a letter to Monday Magazine in March, she opposed a planned new toilet facility near the old wading pool site in Beacon Hill Park. (Monday Magazine, March 16-22, 2006, p. 3)

For more than twenty years, Betty Gibbens has been a strong independent voice defending the park. She urges the City of Victoria, as Trustees of the park, to follow the letter and the spirit of the 1882 Park Trust and the two judicial rulings clarifying restrictions on use of Beacon Hill Park. She points out the two private sport clubhouses, the maintenance yard and the Children’s Farm are in violation of the legal right of public access: “The public is supposed to have free access to every part of the Park.” She opposes development proposals such as an interpretative centre and the new water spray facility. She is against erecting monuments or signs.



#40 Holden West

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 04:04 PM

Yeah, nothing beats those great old 1882 laws, eh, Betty?






"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

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