Greetings from a BC Parks volunteer steward at John Dean Provincial Park, johndeanpark.com // My name is Jarrett Thomas Teague CD, the Keeper of Illahie. I’ve been volunteering here since 1989 (28 years). My ultimate hope is that this park remains the same forever.
John Dean Park gleams of dedicated long-time stewardship. The parks condition has become a high-standard example for similar wilderness parks. Primary undertakings are:
1) Garbage removal
2) Erosion prevention
3) Invasive removal
4) Sign maintenance
5) Trail improvements
6) Response to situations
7) Boundary awareness
I believe each park needs exceptional volunteer stewardship! Launched in 2005, this site is for park visitors and province-wide volunteers. My goal is to stimulate and support the volunteers who will inherit the future workloads // enjoy!
Immersed within the history of BC Parks, I’m so proud of this Campbell River/Elk Falls accomplishment! In 1936, the Young Men’s Forestry Training Plan completed its first park development project: Elk Falls Park! In 2015, the Campbell River Rotary Club w/BC Parks added a new suspension bridge, which properly enhanced the experience; I truly wish the early parks staff could experience this achievement (80 years later). Well done all !!
John Dean Provincial Park encompasses the summit of Mount Newton; traditionally known as ȽÁUWELṈEW (The place of refuge), best pronounced as Tlay will nooth.
This is a Thunderbird mountain, a sacred place for the indigenous W’S’ANEC / Saanich People. Legends of the Great Flood, winter ceremonies, and the Thunderbird figure prominently in their/my culture. Those who truly know this place, have a deep connection with the mountain; a park and a spiritual centre. It’s an amazing testament to what we do, to share this amazing place.
There are several great symbols within the legend of the Great Flood. The cedar rope, the arbutus tree, the raven, the mountain, and the emergence of W’S’ANEC / Saanich. As-long-as the traditional W’S’ANEC names are cherished, the people will be honoured. Today, within John Dean Provincial Park, five SENĆOŦEN names are within the park:
- ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ TRAIL // ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ ŚKEM¸SET
- SLEKTAIN TRAIL // SLEKTAIN ŚKEM¸SET
- ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ SUMMIT // THUNDERBIRD TRAIL – ZINCO SOL
- RAVEN CREEK // SQTO¸; SPOOL
- ARBUTUS Trail // ḰEḰEYIȽĆ ŚKEM¸SET
Park Established December 9, 1921
John Dean Provincial Park on the Saanich Peninsula, north of Victoria contains handsome stands of old growth cedar, hemlock, Gary oak and Douglas fir; these characterize the majestic atmosphere of ȽÁUWELṈEW (Mount Newton).
THE LEGEND OF ȽÁUWELṈEW (1:48, courtesy YouTube, W’S’ANEC School Board)
LAUWELNEW: THE LEGEND OF THE GREAT FLOOD (copy-paste into your browser)
THE WSANEC LANGUAGE: FIND OUR TALK SENCOTEN (copy-paste into your browser)
PARK ACCESS: From the Patricia Bay Highway #17; navigate west via McTavish Road. From McTavish, turn south onto the East Saanich Road, then west on Dean Park Road, onto the mountain ȽÁUWELṈEW (Mount Newton) and into John Dean Provincial Park. Welcome to a sacred W’S’ANEC place…
PARK GIFT: In 1921, Victoria pioneer John Dean donated 4/5’s of his 100-acre section to the crown. This gift became the first donated park in British Columbia. John Dean retained his cabin property Illahie (20 acres) for personal use, with the plan of also adding it to the park after his death.
PARK EVOLUTION: Between 1936 and 1939 the BC Forest Service developed the main trail system, installed facilities and the access road. In 1939, Abraham Collins donated 2.76 acres for a summit camp ground. In 1943, the government expropriated two small radar sites for war measures. In 1957, the park was transferred from the BC Forest Service to the newly established BC Provincial Parks. This inspired Ruth Woodward, Sydney Pickles and Barret Montfort to donate for addition, a combined 258.6 acres. And in 1989 the provincial crown added 66.9 acres spanning the western slope. Today this amazing provincial park measures 173 ha (426.5 acres), encompassing the summit of ȽÁUWELṈEW (Mount Newton), the high area between North & Central Saanich.
CELEBRATE BC PARKS – 100 YEARS (1911-2011) (1:37, courtesy YouTube, BC Parks)
CLASS A PARKS ARE:
- In place
- Where a spiritual impact is felt
BC PARKS – ABOUT: “The provincial system of parks is dedicated to the protection of natural environments for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public.”
BC PARKS – MISSION: “Our parks, protected areas and conservation lands are a public trust. As such, our mission is to protect representative and special natural places within the Province’s Protected Areas System for world class conservation, outdoor recreation, education and scientific study.”
BC PARKS – 627 CLASS A PARKS: “… are dedicated to the preservation of their natural environments for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public. A Class A park is Crown land designated under the Park Act or by the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act whose management and development are constrained by the Park Act.” Our parks and protected area system are the jewels of the province.
BC PARKS ELDER, ROBERT AHRENS:
- “BC Parks, the finest natural area park system.”
- “Park protection is an informed public who appreciates and loves, and is prepared to stand-up for the system.”