Nanaimo's parks section has added almost 500 acres of parkland to the city during the last four years, and the municipality is now turning its attention to adding 153 acres more after the new year.
The city announced this week that is now responsible for 2,000 acres of parkland in the city, 85 per cent of which is natural green space. Parks, recreation and culture director Richard Harding said his department will now focus on compiling a list of options for council to consider regarding 1150 and 1051 Nanaimo Lakes Rd., which encompasses the No. 1 water reservoir set to be decommissioned next year, plus the surrounded wooded area.
The land has been designated for park use by city council, and is therefore included in the 2,000-acre park land tally.
Council had directed staff to begin looking at possible uses for the project last summer, but the process has "stalled" due to other ongoing issues that have taken up staff time, Harding said.
He said city staff will now focus on possible uses for the land for council to consider, which involves consulting with community groups that may have opinions on best land use.
The Nanaimo & District Fish & Game Protective Association has already presented council with a proposal to use the reservoir as a prime recreational fishing spot using water from the adjacent upper Colliery dam.
"We will be working with them and talking about some of their ideas, as we will with a lot of other groups," Harding said.
Harding stressed that the process is separate from ongoing discussions surrounding the middle and lower Colliery dams, a contentious issue involving Snuneymuxw First Nations and the Colliery Dams Preservation Society, a community group opposed to removal of the two structures.
© Copyright 2013