The parking lot was full at one of my favourite childhood parks. I was slightly let down at the prospect of walking on this Christmas day with the crowds of a major sporting event. Was this walk going to give me the rejuvenation needed before more Christmas socializing?
Milo the dog and I meandered down the shoreline pine trail saying hello to the fellow Christmas day hikers while trying to find peace on this busy trail. The breeze was fresh and cleans with the smell of forest and ocean. The air was already clearing my head as a realization came over me that all these people felt the same need and desire to walk on this beautiful Christmas day with friends, family and animals at Point Atkinson Park. This awareness immediately gave me a feeling of peace about the crowds. With this realization I began to think about the importance of these woods to the local community and the people that would travel great distances to get to such a magical place.
The day and forest was surely scripted like a movie or commercial trying to sell something with its perfection, yet there was nothing for sale. In this forested Cathedral you could feel a common spirit between the visitors of all nationalities, ages and perhaps beliefs. In this growing city where strangers seldom greeted each other anymore these people found a forested canopy where the visitors were compelled to meet their fellow walkers with warm greetings. Lighthouse Park had become more important than ever to the city of Vancouver that is now known as one of the cleanest, most beautiful cities in the world. This thought brought me back to a chance encounter with a fellow mountain biker on the trails of upper Lantzville just days previous. We had discussed how fortunate we were to have trails with creeks and vast forests just minutes from our homes in Lantzville. Nils brought to my attention that the logging rights of these forests and trails that many of us enjoy and many others in the community help maintain have been granted. He pointed out that communications with the logging companies have been made and they are open to fair compensation for these rights. It was suggested that we should be contacting local government to communicate our feelings that this disposition of crown land rights was errant. Logging these lots so close to Lantzville will change the community in a detrimental way, forever. This forest is a part of what makes Lantzville one of the best communities in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island. I wonder what made them make the decision to dedicate Lighthouse Park over 100 years ago…I have no idea. I’m just thankful we keep parks of special value in their natural state. I believe most loggers would agree that the same thing that drew those hikers to that park on Christmas day is what keeps them working in the woods…the love of nature. Let’s try and correct an administrative mistake.
Please Help…Here is a website with ideas: http://savelantzvilleforest.com/