EDO NYLAND | 1927-2017

Our greatest Friend Edo, passed away on August 13, 2017, age 89½.


Edo and residents founded the Friends of John Dean Park on May 10, 1984. Between 1984 and 2001, Edo steered the Friends Society and physically volunteered throughout the park.

Edo’s involvement at John Dean Park spanned 33 years:

1984-2001 era | Friends leadership & major trail volunteer (18 years)

2002-2017 era | Friends advisor & executive member (16 years)


Edo was born in Amsterdam, Holland on December 22, 1927. At age 13 he became a member of the Netherlands Youth Group for Nature Studies, where he established his own Garden of Edo, which held more than 300 types of wildflowers. His high school years occurred during the German occupation, and during this time he followed the war effort and learned. In 1947, while studying botany at the University of Amsterdam, he was required to complete two years of military service (1947-49). Much of that period was spent with the Medical Corps at an Army Hospital in Djakarta, Indonesia, where he assisted ophthalmologists with eye operations. In 1949, Edo was decorated for action under fire in West Java. “I helped with the evacuation of wounded and gave medical aid under fire; and experienced first-hand the degrading fanaticism, brutality and decadence of atrocities committed on both sides of this tragic conflict.”

After his military experience he returned to Amsterdam, where the military paid veterans to attend specialised training. Edo took a cabinetmakers course, and upon completion headed for Canada, arriving April 1952, age 24.

Edo attended the University of Alberta for his first year of Arts. Then he studied Forestry at the University of British Columbia, where in 1957 he was awarded a B.S.F. degree in Forestry. Between 1957 and 1968 he was a District Forester for the Whitecourt Forest in Alberta. In 1968 he was promoted to land use specialist at the Alberta Forest Service head office in Edmonton. In 1971 he was appointed Regional Manager of the Federal Yukon Lands and Forest Service, based at Whitehorse, Yukon. His main tasks were modernizing and building of the Yukon Forest Service, which included staff training, fire prevention and aerial fire suppression, supervision of road, bridge, airstrip and seismic line construction activities of many oil and mining companies, environmental protection, inspection of private recreation facilities, timber disposal, and silvicultural etc.

At age 55, Edo and Elizabeth retired and relocated from the Yukon to North Saanich on Vancouver Island. It was the autumn of 1983 when they discovered John Dean Provincial Park and first explored the trails and viewpoints. They adored the impressive stands of old-growth, however Edo observed: A pervading air of neglect in the garbage along the main road and the deterioration of the facilities and trails. Having had worked for years in the area of land-use, Edo clearly understood the importance of preserving natural places. A year later, Edo and residents founded the Friends of John Dean Park.

The overall history of the Friends is essentially the story of Edo’s park protecting endeavor. He has truly safeguarded this provincial park. The great question is: What would John Dean Park be today if Elizabeth & Edo didn’t retire to North Saanich? The answer is: the worst case circumstance of his top 10 accomplishments . . . He truly set an example for our community, and I hope my writing serves to inform the future of what’s needed to properly care for our parks and protected spaces.


A PERSONAL MEMORY & FAREWELL – Summer 1988 is when I first met Edo working along the Barret Montfort Trail East (south end), and soon after I joined the Friends. Between 1989 and 2000 we spent hundreds and hundreds of day’s together working in the park. Our first major project together was building the Slektain Trail between spring 1989 and autumn 1990; and summer 1991 we renovated the Thunderbird and Lookout Trails. One of my earliest and proudest memories of us together occurred January 1992 when we responded to a major rainfall and drained water from the West Viewpoint Trail; this adventure inspired my commitment of creating and maintaining the drainage channels throughout the park. In 1993 we repaired the southern stone pillar; in 1995 I spent many afternoons next to his basement woodstove painting trail signs and listening to Vicki Gabereau on CBC; in 1997-2000 we spent countless days together removing the central ivy at Illahie; and on many occasions we left the park and headed to the Nyland’s front patio where we basked in the sun and relished Elizabeth’s delicious European foods and tea and Edo’s own honey.

Edo and I spent every weekend throughout 1997 to spring 2000 together removing the 80 year-old ivy surrounding Illahie. Then suddenly I joined the fulltime military and disappeared for a while (age 24). In hindsight, I very much needed a professional fulltime career, and wasn’t aware that this would be our last project and time together. And when in August and September 2002, I returned home on post-Afghanistan leave, I learnt Edo was no longer physically involved in the park essentials; this meant I was alone on the volunteer front. During this leave period I solely focused on Illahie which I believed canceled out some mission related stresses, and as before I fully prepped the parks drainage channels for the winter.

That Christmas when I visited Edo and Elizabeth, we had a great visit and meal; Edo thanked me and renewed our friendship. Having had spent 11 major years with Edo in the park, I now feel the value of his gradual withdraw from the park, otherwise I’d be totally saddened.

During my high school era and early 20s, Edo appropriately influenced my lifetime objectives and I`ve thanked him for encouraging me to commit to a carrier with the military. I also remember the amused jests of the park regulars of the 1990s, “Jarrett is Edo’s side-kick”. Actually, I also felt he was mine. He had the truck, tools, knowhow and we shared the required initiative . . .

After 29 years as best-friends accomplishing so much together, rivals on the Friends executive and treasuring one-another’s talents, it was a tremendous honour to pay a final visit to Edo’s home in Sidney with my wife Touria and our three kids. At age 89, Edo was proud of me, and I was proud of him! We laid back in his comfy chairs w/tea and recalled our adventures and times together; both of us needed that, and we got it . . . I’ve lost the most empowering elder of my life, an amazing giant of a charter whom I’ve gained much wisdom . . .

The Saanich Peninsula communities have lost their opportunity to access Edo. Fortunately, they’ve gained awareness towards the necessity of taking on projects and caring for our parks.


Edo – you are the best!



Jarrett 7 Mar 17

Picture 1 of 3

Repairs & Removals – 6-8 Feb 2017, the old-growth valley at John Dean Park received 16” of soft snow, which compacted to an 11” hard pack. During the evening of Wednesday, 8 Feb., a freezing rain added a huge weight and literally brought down hundreds of limbs, 65 smaller trees and one old growth Douglas fir. The entire park was affected; every stretch of trail received large and small branches which pinned dozens of tree branches and considerable vegetation.

On 11 Feb 17, Jarrett activated: “Operation JDP Response, Priority 2” w/full commitment. Between 11 Feb and 14 Mar, Jarrett invested 14 full days, whereby the entire park was properly cleared and restored; in all 98.5hrs were invested. The priority of work flow was:

          Duck Pond restoration;

          Release of live tree branches;

          Relocation of large limbs w/release of vegetation;

          Tree Clearing w/complete site restoration;

          Trail or facility restoration;

          Minor branch relocation; and

          Opening of drainage channels and small debris dispersals.

Below are the lists of critical repairs and trees removed. However, what’s most import is the release of pinned vegetation and quality site restoration/clean-up. The high value standard at John Dean Park is similar to the standard exercised by early BC Parks employees, such as:


1 Relocate branches and large debris:

a)      slice braches from base upwards;

b)      relocate major branches 20’ away as appropriate, place in non-vegetated spot, but-end away from view; and

c)      disperse debris, scatter throughout so as not to damage vegetation.


2 Release all tree branches and large vegetation from larger pining materials


3 Cut tree log 18” from trails edge or as appropriate


4 Place tree log off trail in a natural agreeable place


5 Rake or clear trail surface


6 Assure area is secured as vegetation released and visibly agreeable


7 Leave site looking undamaged and presentable



Critical Repairs Conducted 1st Quarter 2017

1)      Entrance Road: levelled 12 gouges created by the snow plough;

2)      Summit Access Road: levelled 5 gouges created by the snow plough;

3)      Parking lot, primary outflow channel: opened fully buried channel;

4)      Duck Pond: reset footbridge and graded trail;

5)      Duck Pond: repaired west side of outflow channel edging;

6)      Duck Pond: reset Gazebo Site entrance stones, two steps and left corner;

7)      Barret Montfort Trail West, north footbridge: removed broken wood and reset stone; and

8)      Thomson Cabin Trail: filled hole created by fallen fir tree.


Resulting from February 8th, the following trees have been cleared. There’re listed in order of removal (location cleared afterwards*); full site restoration was conducted by Jarrett Teague:

1)      Duck Pond: 5” cedar

2)      Duck Pond: 18” alder

3)      Duck Pond: 7” cedar

4)      Duck Pond: 8” top of fir

5)      Skipper’s Path, north-half: 8” fir

6)      Upper Slektain Trailhead: 4” fir top

7)      Valley Mist Trail, glacier rock: old-growth limb w/large pile of debris

8)      Valley Mist Trail Steep: 6” cedar w/PFO*

9)      Valley Mist Trail: 6” alder w/PFO*

10)  Valley Mist Trail: 5” alder w/PFO*

11)  Valley Mist Trail: 6” cedar w/PFO*

12)  Valley Mist Trail: 10” cedar w/PFO*

13)  Valley Mist Trail: 20” fir limb w/PFO*

14)  Valley Mist Trail: 30” fir (old, trimmed back) w/PFO*

15)  West Viewpoint Trail: 9” cedar w/PFO*

16)  West Viewpoint Trail: 3” yew w/PFO*

17)  Merrill Harrop Trail: 300yr fir w/limbs and debris w/PFO*

18)  Merrill Harrop Trail: 30” hemlock w/PFO*

19)  Merrill Harrop Trail: 8” fir (hung-up) w/PFO*

20)  West Viewpoint Trail: 7” fir (old, trimmed back) w/PFO*

21)  West Viewpoint Trail: 8” fir w/PFO*

22)  Surveyors’ Trail: 12” maple w/PFO*

23)  Surveyors’ Trail: 6” fir w/PFO*

24)  Surveyors’ Trail: 6” arbutus w/PFO*

25)  Surveyors’ Trail: 8” arbutus w/PFO*

26)  Woodward Trail: 6” fir w/PFO*

27)  Woodward Trail: 2” fir w/PFO*

28)  Woodward Trail, Emerald Pool: 6” cedar w/PFO*

29)  Woodward Trail: 6” cedar w/PFO*

30)  Woodward Trail: 6” cedar w/PFO*

31)  Woodward Trail: 6” cedar w/PFO*

32)  Illahie Trail: 5” cedar w/PFO*

33)  Illahie Trail: 2” fir w/PFO*

34)  Valley Mist Trail Easy: 7” alder w/branches w/PFO*

35)  Valley Mist Trail Easy: 6” fir w/PFO*

36)  Valley Mist Trail Easy: 4” cedar w/PFO*

37)  Barret Montfort Trail West: 1st Bridge, 10” maple and branches w/PFO*

38)  Illahie Loop, upper end: 20” dead hemlock debris;

39)  Valley Mist Trail Easy: 6” alder;

40)  Valley Mist Trail Steep: 6” cedar;

41)  Skipper’s Path, south-end: 4” cedar;

42)  Skipper’s Path, south-end: 4” cedar;

43)  Woodward Trail: 6” cedar;

44)  Merrill Harrop Trail: 4” alder;

45)  Merrill Harrop Trail: 6” cedar;

46)  Slektain Trail: 2” hemlock;

47)  Slektain Trail: 6” cedar;

48)  Slektain Trail: 6” cedar;

49)  Skipper’s Path, south-end: 7” cedar;

50)  Cougar Hollow West Side: 4” arbutus;

51)  Old Picnic Site: 2” fir top;

52)  Woodward Trail: 8” cedar;

53)  Woodward Trail: 6” fir;

54)  Woodward Trail: 6” cedar;

55)  Slektain Trail, Cougar Hollow East Side: 2” fir;

56)  Slektain Trail, Cougar Hollow East Side: 8” cedar;

57)  Slektain Trail, Cougar Hollow East Side: shifted a 6” cedar;

58)  Thunderbird Trail: 7” cedar;

59)  Thunderbird Trail: 10” cedar;

60)  Thomson Cabin Trail: 4” oak;

61)  Thomson Cabin Trail: 7” fir;

62)  Barret Montfort Trail East: 15” cedar;

63)  Lookout Trail: 8” bosom;

64)  Lookout & ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Junction: 5” maple limbs;

65)  ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Trail: 3” bosom; and

66)  ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Trail: 11” fir hung-up on oak tree.


On 14 Mar 17, Operation JDP Response, Priority 2, was declared completed // 98.5hrs.

Operation JDP Response is activated when immediate corrective action is required. Normally responses are priority 1 (same day, 1-3hrs), used to clean up after a parties, camping or vandalism. However the winter event of 6-8 Feb 17 created so damage, the clean-up couldn’t be considered routine maintenance; therefore a rarely used priority 2 Response was initiated.

At home, administration was also a priority:

          axe sharpening

          boot cleaning and drying

          special laundries

          snacks purchased

          volunteer log accuracy



Jarrett’s usual priority of work is:

1)      Response

2)      Maintain

3)      Monitor & Action

4)      Improve

5)      Legacy Presentation


This was a great honour!



Grand and sacred John Dean Park – all Invasive Zones are properly monitored and actioned monthly to sustain the “invasive free” achievement. The primary threat species are:




Himalayan blackberry



This author is seeking future volunteers who can emerge and extend the achievement forward. The ideal commitment is: 15min monthly per zone (9mths a year). Are you concerned?


John Dean Provincial Park has emerged as the only 2017 invasive free park on the peninsula; however inbound threats persist. Noteworthy, nobody except this author is looking at what is occurring surrounding the park. Worse, few if any parks within the region have received such a longtime commitment towards the complete removal of invasive species. Today, invasive species are filling the Saanich Peninsula, and there’s nil coordinated leadership, either government or volunteer based that is learning or willing to conduct the hard work.


At John Dean Park, organized volunteers haven’t partaken since 2003. Since then, some regulars have offered to help, however the question is always: how can an individual start? Below are the natural necessary stages which enthuses a volunteer towards producing results:

1) Recognise the invasive treat;

2) Connect with the subject matter;

3) Request a personalized tour of multiple specie zones;

4) Network with BC Parks and/or their representative;

5) Undertake responsibility for 1 or more zones;

6) Report specie/zone/time accomplishments;

7) Guarantee your stewardship commitment; and

8) Own longtime invasive stewardship, and arrange its succession.


For future volunteers, this rating breakdown can be used to acknowledge and recognise volunteers:

a) Invasive Removal Sponsor: thank volunteers and/or provide financial reimbursements;

b) Invasive Removal Companion: 2nd year and/or 1-2 zones;

c) Invasive Removal Supervisor: 3rd year and/or 3+ zones;

d) Invasive Removal Principal: 4th year and/or all zones; and

e) Invasive Removal Keeper: accepts long-time accountability for all specie zones.


It’s my great hope that a person or family adopts each task. If you have a favorite spot or would like a specific breakdown of a specie and their zones, contact Jarrett to begin your involvement.



Best, Jarrett



2021 Centennial Project

1st Donated BC Park | Established: December 9, 1921 | 2021 Centennial Project

Some amazing people have recently moved to Vancouver Island. They’ve found John Dean Park, and we’re getting together for the parks 100th anniversary, join us!

       We’re planning:

a)      adding the W̱SÁNEĆ SENĆOŦEN name to Pickles’ Bluff

b)      painting commissions w/prints

c)       framing the classic photographs

d)      a photo mug collection

e)      a centennial coin

f)       the “stories of John Dean” collection will be available at below cost


      For the Centennial I’ve encouraged the Friends and BC Parks to:

a)      replace the entrance portal sign

b)      pave the entrance road from the stone pillars to the parking lot

c)       regrade the parking lot and establish sustainable maintenance free drainage

d)      pave the parking lot

e)      replace the parking lot kiosk w/3-sided type

f)       update kiosk map, position map facing north and provide information


Best, Jarrett



A 25yr Signature Endeavor | 1991-2016

By Tyson Mazer

Illahie, 8 May 11

Jarrett w/Amir (2mth) | May 2011

At John Dean Park in 1981, at the base of the Entrance Trail stood a beautiful classic sign “WATER”, which pointed southward towards the green hand pump. It was the parks only wood sign, which stayed in place until the picnic site infrastructure was removed autumn 2000.

To understand why the park had only one sign, one needs to understand the parks role within the provincial parks system of 1960-80s. Comparable to smaller parks, John Dean Park had a four table picnic site w/fire cavity nicely positioned to showcase the giant Douglas fir trees, and parks of the era generally had obvious main trails which didn’t require signage. Because John Dean Park received regular vandalism, to reduce targets and downline maintenance, the number of signs was limited to those considered essential.

In March 1988, with the completion of three new outer trails, the following names were chosen: Barret Montfort, Woodward and Merrill Harrop; Lookout Point was renamed as Pickles’ Bluff. Next a fourth trail was planned for the parks North Block; summer 1989 (age 14-15) Jarrett was a principal builder, and in November 1990 introduced three new names: Cougar Hollow, Slektain and Thunderbird.

Jarrett’s early start with the Friends of John Dean Park truly propelled his interest towards creating and maintaining the trail signs. However, he claims his true inspiration came from the longtime caretakers of Camp Thunderbird and Camp Barnard who maintained the properties and created traditional signs. In February 1991 (age 15) with the blessings of BC Parks, Jarrett installed his first two signs: West Viewpoint and Cougar Hollow. In June 1991, Rangers installed the new signs: Slektain and Thunderbird.

Since 1991, Jarrett has volunteered to create and maintain the classic BC Park trail signs, and works towards perfection. The sign system at John Dean Park is the outcome of considerable thought, requirements, changes, standardization, time and effort. Below, Jarrett has broken down the signage evolution into four generations/streams, which illustrates its progression…

Skipper's, Winter 2002-3Illahie, Spring 2006

Stream 3 signs | 2004 & 2006


STREAM 1 (1988-1994) 7yrs

  1. 14 new signs
  2. 1988, community donations: Pickles’ Bluff ; Woodward Trail x 2; Merrill Harrop Trail
  3. 1989, BC Parks: Barret Montfort Trail x 3; Woodward x 2; Merrill Harrop Trail x 1
  4. 1991, Jarrett’s first signs: Cougar Hollow and West Viewpoint
  5. 1991, BC Parks: Slektain Trail x 2; and Thunderbird Trail x 2
  6. signboard: varied is size and style
  7. posts: 4×4”
  8. 14 signs w/posts maintained by end-1994


STREAM 2 (1995-1998) 4yrs

  1. 15 x new 1995 park map w/4×6” posts
  2. volunteer funded
  3. signboard: majority 2×8”x2’
  4. 8 existing signs replaced
  5. 32 new signs
  6. posts: transitioned to 4×6” and 6×6”
  7. 46 signs w/posts maintained by end-1998


STREAM 3 (1999-2006) 8yrs

  1. 12 x new 2002 park map w/4×4” posts; 6 existing signs replaced
  2. self-funded
  3. signboard: transitioned to: 1×8”x1’
  4. 14 existing signs replaced
  5. 8 new signs
  6. posts: 4×4”, 4×6” and 6×6”
  7. 54 signs w/posts maintained by end-2006


STREAM 4 (2007-2016) 10yrs

  1. 2007, BC Parks colour change: transitioned to new BC Parks rustic brown, converted 54 signs & posts
  2. 2007-16, BC Parks provided receipt reimbursements, and supplied posts and paint; over the decade $1,424.37 was provided (average $178.04 annually); extras self-funded
  3. signboard: transitioned to set-standard, 1×8”x1’ w/1” lettering; 35 existing signs replaced
  4. 16 new signs
  5. posts: transitioned to set-standard 4×4”
  6. 2013, added washers to the backside of signs, and replaced old bolts
  7. 70 signs & 40 posts maintained by end-2016


2016 Hiking Leaders:

With up to 4,500 visitors touring the trails of John Dean Park each month, impacts on the park are considerable. Although you may not immediately see the effects of your actions, please keep in mind the cumulative effect of all the people who will visit the park this year.


Jarrett believes the greatest impact to John Dean Park comes from what’s happening outside of the park versus inside. To hedge against the increased usage, Jarrett recommends:


Regulars: after a major rain, please wait 12hrs prior to your regular tour.

Groups: choose a secondary entrance:

  • (south) Thomson Place, Gail Wickens’ Trail
  • (west) Alec Road, Merrill Harrop Trail
  • (north) McTavish Crossroad, via Dunsmuir Lodge, Barrett Montfort Trail West
  • (east) Dean Park Road, upper parking lot (15 Mar to 31 Oct)


Suggest – after a good rain, redirect the group to nearby beaches, versus leading the group through soft trails. Leaders can appreciate that 3 of 18 will step on green surfaces to avoid the wet spots. Consequently, leaders own the damage caused by their group.


  • Increased park visitation during recent years has placed a great deal of pressure on the park’s resources.
  • The excellent condition of John Dean Park is oblivious to those to visit similar regional/provincial parks.


Gail Wickens’ Trail – 11 Dec 1971  &  Haldon Park – 10 Jan 1980



  • From Saanichton, drive west along Mount Newton Crossroad; turn north on Thomson Road; and park near the top of the road. The Gail Wickens’ Trail heads up northward to Thomson Place, crosses the road, and heads up into Haldon and to John Dean Park.
  • From Saanichton, drive north along East Saanich Road; turn west on Haldon Road which turns into Thomson Place. The Gail Wickens’ Trail crosses Thomson Place between houses numbered 8233 and 8257; and park along either side of the road. The upper trail leads into Haldon Park and to John Dean Park.


HALDON PARK – On January 15, 1975, Stadocona Properties Ltd. acquired the Central Saanich, upper 181 acres of the former Marcotte farm for $335,000. This area was previously owned by Abraham Collins, who in turn sold to Sydney Pickles. At this time, the developer extended Thomson Place eastward and connected it with the existing Haldon Road; created two other roads, Newton Heights and Marcotte Close; 24 acreages and one park were planned (VIP33318), the survey was completed on April 19, 1979; and was approved by the Central Saanich approving officer under the Land Registry Act on November 16, 1979. This development included a 25th property, 4.06ha (10 acre) that was set aside for a Central Saanich park. The approved survey was deposited in the Land Registry Office in Victoria on January 10, 1980.

Thomson Road and Thomson Place were named after the first pioneer family of the Mount Newton Valley. Family members owned much of the land west of Thomson Road, and over the years logged several portions to the east. Because Thomson Place stretched further eastward, the name Haldon Park was adopted to honour an area pioneer family. Haldon Parks lower boundary is along Thomson Place. The western line is the Thomson Gazette 40 road-right-of-way, up to the southeast corner of John Dean Park (Woodward donation). The upper boundary line runs along the John Dean Park 45 degree line (Pickles’ donation) to the provincial park trail junction of: Wickens’/LAUWELNEW and Woodward/Montfort West. From this junction, the parks east line heads southeast down to the intersection of Thomson Place and Marcotte Close. Essentially, Haldon Park covers the steep southeast slope of Mount Newton and offers lovely vistas towards the Cascades and farmlands below, protects an exceptional open area moss meadow and the seasonal stream known as Moss Waterfalls, affords a wilderness buffer and provides a south access to John Dean Park.

Of special interest, near the provincial parks most southeast trail junction is evidence of John Dean’s Marcotte Trail, which linked the Marcotte Rose Farm and Illahie. This original route can be found just below the upper moss meadow, and meanders southeast along Haldon Park’s east line, and then disappears into the adjoining property. The Marcotte Trail was for many years a main access route for Saanichton residence, until when farm properties were subdivided, vehicles became poplar, and the trail overgrew.

In 1852, several roads were pre-gazetted when the peninsulas first survey was completed. Gazette 40 known as the Thomson right-of-way was placed on the center line and ran south-north between today’s Mount Newton Cross Road, over the summit of Mount Newton to McTavish Road. Today, the south end is Thomson Road, and the north end is the entrance to the Rod & Gun Club property along McTavish Road.

On the weekend of December 11-12, 1971, over 200 volunteers constructed a bridle and hiking trail from the end of the paved Thomson Road up northward, following the 40’ right-of-way which crosses Thomson Place and continues up the western boundary of today’s Haldon Park and into John Dean Park. This trail was built in memory and dedicated as the Gail Wickens’ Trail. Today, the lower/south half (below Thomson) is a bridle and hiking trail, and the upper/north steep half (above Thomson) is for hiking only and serves as the south entrance for John Dean Provincial Park.

Although municipal parks do not have the legislated protection of provincial parks; Central Saanich has done its best to protect their parks. Their June 1999, Parks Master Plan – Summary of Polices, Para 3 states: “That Council dedicate its current Parks and Open Spaces and register this dedication with the province, and that Council adopt a Park Reservation Bylaw that would require a two-thirds majority of Council, as well as provincial ministerial consent to removal of park reservation.”

STEWARDSHIP: This author maintains the upper/north side Gail Wickens’ Trail as if it was within the provincial park; complete with signage and drainage channels. Broom has been removed from the center open meadow and monitored; the entire SE slope has been cleared of Daphne and is monitored; and considerable old camping garbage has been removed. The area was last logged in 1973, and today the trees are of a significant size that the area is considered restored. I truly hope that one-day Haldon Municipal Park will be added to John Dean Provincial Park.




Constructed: December 1971

The following newspaper articles are presented to honour the story of the Gail Wickens


Women Dies in Saanich Smash-up

Victoria Times, November 24, 1971


A woman driving five young children to school was killed and four of the children critically injured in a smash-up on the Pat Bay Highway this morning involving the advance car in Governor General Michener’s cavalcade en route out of the city [Daniel Roland Michener PC CC CMM OOnt CD QC FRHSC Governor General of Canada, 1967–1974].

Police said three cars were in collision at the intersection of Sayward Road and the highway. One of the vehicles was slammed into an RCMP cruiser leading the Michener caravan to Victoria International Airport.

There were no injuries in the RCMP car, and the vice regal couple were two cars back in line. The accident occurred at 8:55am.

Mrs. Gail Wickens, 30, of 402 Brookleigh Rd. was dead on arrival at hospital. In critical condition at St Joseph’s Hospital are Denise Demeule, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rodger Demeule, 5443 Hamsterly; Catherine Pope, 5, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G.R. Pope, 421 Brookleigh Rd; and Melissa and Steven Wickens, children of the driver and her husband, W.E.A. Wickens.

Sarah Pope, 7, Catherine’s sister, suffered serious injuries and was being treated at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gorden Cunningham was a passenger in the advance car.              Driver of the second car involved in the initial crash, Carl Turner, 58, of 10018 Sidall, was treated for minor injuries and released from hospital. Driver of the RCMP vehicle was Special Const. Albert Harbottle, 2631 Cedar Hill. He was uninjured.

Driven to School – Police said the children in the Wickens car were being driven to Elk Lake Elementary School.  Harbottle was alone in his car.

The accident occurred in driving rain. The intersection is controlled by lights.

The Governor-General and Mrs. Michener were leaving Victoria for Ottawa after a six-day tour of British Columbia.


Victoria Times – Obituary

November 29, 1971


WICKENS – Suddenly on November 24, 1971; Mrs. Gail Frances Wickens, age 30 years, born in New Westminster, BC and a resident of Victoria for the past 7 years, late residence 402 Brookleigh Rd. She leaves her loving husband, Wayne; son Steven; and daughter Melissa at home; and her aunts, Miss Janet McIntosh and Miss Helen McIntosh, White Rock.

Memorial Service will be held in St. Stevens Anglican Church, on Mount Newton Cross Rad, on Tuesday, November 30, 1971 at 2pm. Rev. Ivan Futter officiating. Flowers gratefully declined. Those so desiring may contribute to the Elk Lake Co-operative Play School.


Crash Victim Honoured by Trail

Gail Wickens’ Trail

Victoria Times, December 7, 1971


A hiking and riding trail will be blazed this weekend [December 11-12] in Central Saanich in memory of Gail Wickens, 30, victim of a traffic accident November 24.

Dawn Ruthven of the Garden City Horsemen Club, Bruce Hardy and Phil Kisslinger of the Sierra Club of BC asked Central Saanich council Monday for permission to construct the Thomson Trail as a joint effort involving outdoor and riding clubs, with which Mrs. Wickens had been affiliated.

The 1½ mile link will connect Mount Newton Cross Road with John Dean Park, an area which Mrs. Ruthven says is ideal for riding and hiking.

About 250 persons will work this weekend clearing a trail from which motorcycles will be prohibited. Other clubs involved are the Victoria Western Horsemen’s Club, The Victoria and Saanich Pony Club and 4-H Clubs.

Mrs. Wickens had five children in her car when it was in collision with another auto at Sayward and the Pat Bay Highway [near Elk Lake].

Her daughter, Melissa, 3, remains in poor condition at St. Joseph’s Hospital while her son, Steven, 7 is in good condition.

[Denise Demeule was in critical condition.] The other two children, Sarah Pope, 7, and her sister Catherine, 5, have been released from hospital.


All of the meadows in John Dean Park are “broom free”. The park has 9 Broom Zones:

  • 5 x Flagship Presentation zones
  • 2 x Trail-side Viewpoint zones
  • 2 x Special Place zones

Noteworthy: few parks within the region have received such a long-time commitment towards the complete removal of broom.


Updated: Autumn 2017 – monthly 15min per Broom Zone is crucial


Since 1991 (26 years) I’ve been on this grunting project, and the hard work is done! For future volunteers, the below tables describe the time and commitment required to maintain the achievement (approx. 30hrs each year).

A monthly commitment of 15min per meadow is required to sustain the achievements. It’s now my great hope that a person or family adopt each meadow; if you have a favorite spot you’d like to take care of, contact Jarrett @ to begin:

  • Broom Sponsor (encouragement / financial)
  • Broom Companion (2nd year & 1-2 zones)
  • Broom Supervisor (3rd year & 3+ zones)
  • Broom Principal (4th year & all zones)
















Airport Radar Tower

a)      West meadow at road/gate

b)      East meadow along road

“Flagship Presentation”


1995, initial removal


Major removals occurred


2011, Jarrett adopted the meadow; seed bank not exhausted, requires attention

99% done


Maintained quarterly


Adjacent broom within MOT compound; unreliably cut


Removal actions required, 15min per month / 3hrs annually




Coast Guard Radar Tower

a)      South fence line

b)      Lower-middle treeline

c)       North-side at wood fence

“Flagship Presentation”


1991, initial major removals occurred


1997, Jarrett adopted


Seed bank almost exhausted



99% done


Maintained quarterly


Requires 15min per month / 3hrs annually




Pickles’ Bluff

a)      Bluff, center area

b)      Bluff, lower south end

c)       Bluff, lower north end

d)      Meadow, below and north

e)      Meadow south of steps

f)       Meadow far south of steps

g)      Meadow north of steps


“Flagship Presentation”


1991, initial removal


Major removals occurred


1999, seed bank exhausted

99% done


Maintained quarterly


Requires 15min per month / 3hrs annually





a)      Upper-west end

b)      Middle-east ridge, long

c)       Lower-southeast end


“Flagship Presentation”


1993, initial removal


1996, Bryce Kendrick adopted; Many thanks to Dr. Bryce Kendrick who pulled in this location: 1995-2013.


2008, seed bank exhausted


99% done


Maintained quarterly


Requires 15min per month / 3hrs annually



Thomson & Woodward Trails

a)      Triangle Junction meadow

b)      Surrounding area

c)       Ridge above Woodward

d)      Ridge below Woodward

e)      Lower Gary oak Meadow

“Flagship Presentation”


1993, initial removal


1999, Seed bank exhausted


Major adjacent seed bank on private property; ongoing action required forever.


99% done


Maintained quarterly


Each meadow requires 15min per month / 3hrs annually




Surveyors’ Trail, Glimpse Point

a)      Viewpoint

b)      Viewpoint tree line

c)       Below viewpoint in forest

d)      Behind house

e)      Eastern meadow

f)       Eastern meadow in forest

g)      Above Surveyors’ Trail

h)      Above Surveyors’ Trail back meadows


“Trail-side Viewpoint”


1992, initial removals


Ongoing removals by a few Friends occurred; many thanks to Dr. Bryce Kendrick who pulled in this location: 1995-2013.


2015, Jarrett conducted a 26hr 100% removal throughout the entire area; commits to long-term monthly removals.


Major adjacent seed bank on private property; ongoing action required forever.


2015, 99% removed


Maintained monthly


Requires 30min per month / 6hrs annually



West Viewpoint

a)      Lower shelf

b)      Lower shelf, outer perimeter

“Trail-side Viewpoint”


1991, Initial pull; inconsistent removals occurred


2015, Jarrett conducted a 100% removal throughout the entire area; commits to long-term monthly removals.


2015, 99% removed


Forest broom within sight has been removed


Maintained quarterly


Requires 15min per month / 3hrs annually





Harrop Trail, Western Ridge Meadows

a)      Upper, above relocation

b)      Lower, above the multiple drainage channels

“Special Places”


1996, initial removal


Inconstant removals occurred


2011, seed bank exhausted



99% done


Checked quarterly


Requires 2hrs annually



Entrance Road

a)      Upper Slektain Meadow

b)      Meadow below road corner

c)       Meadow above fire hydrant

d)      High ridge above road

e)      Overhang cliffs at road

f)       Meadow above Montfort staircases


“Special Places”


1993, initial removal


2016, seed bank exhausted


99% done


Maintained quarterly


Requires 15min per month / 3hrs annually


Despite John Dean Park’s current exceptional situation; baby broom produces seeds during its third year. Therefore it’s essential that all broom be removed immediately to hedge against the 35mth deadline.


Updated for spring-2016: John Dean Park is broom free, and future volunteers inherit a zero debt & zero deficit workload.

Jarrett has committed to all broom zones; assistance is requested…















6 failure 48mth / +30” seed generating abandonment
5 setback 36-47mth / 24-29” seed producing negligence
4 debt 24-35mth / 18-23” growth attention
3 deficit 12-23mth / 12-17” growth care
2 routine 3-11mth / 6-11” babies love
1 mastered 1-5” babies minimal own


A message for future volunteers: I’ve been removing broom at John Dean Park since 1991 (25 years completed). It’s time to pass along my knowledge.


I believe the only way to sustain “broom free” is:

  • Set mission statement: “ensure John Dean Park remains broom-free (under 4mths growth)”;
  • Leadership monitors and updates the parks “Broom Register” quarterly (9 zones);
  • Assign each meadow to a person or family who commits;
  • The best time to surge on broom is October to December; conduct double checks January to February; avoid flower areas March to June; the monthly 15min per meadow is crucial
  • Leadership offers an allowance for each meadow; suggest $2 per hour to directly reimburse clothing and expenses, or to encourage and thank volunteers. As of 2016, each of the nine zones requires 3hrs per year (approx. $6 per meadow/total $54 each year forever.
  • I’m worried if my recommendations aren’t followed, and broom regrows to +3yrs, seeds will be deposited thereby creating a setback of 7yrs, meaning more and more work for future volunteers; and
  • Broom leadership is true stewardship, which I believe belongs within the Friends of John Dean Park Society (where I started). I believe it’s the duty of a volunteer to operate whereby less work is required from future volunteers.



Qualities of Emerging Volunteer Broom Supervisors:

Awareness – Interest – Time – Vigour – Ownership

  • recognizes action is required;
  • believes broom free must be sustained;
  • identifies with the object of the exercise;
  • commits exceptional worth to the park;
  • performs well;
  • achieves results;
  • regards the role as a talent; and
  • succession plan arranged.



Today, Pickles’ Bluff is mint – ready for special visitors!


Updated: May 2016


The magnificent Pickles’ Bluff is the best place to share with tourist and visitors alike! The eastward views are exceptional, everything from Sidney, the North Shore Mountains, the Gulf & San Juan Islands, the Cascades, the Victoria area and the Olympic Mountains.


Since October 1990 (grade 10, age 16) I’ve continually cared for this sacred place. The bluff was covered in broom, much 7’ high old-growth. Further down, the lower shelves had decades of accumulated garbage (over 50 bags).


Today, Pickles’ Bluff is 100% broom & garbage free. Moving forward, to sustain the achievement, the Bluff requires one volunteer hour per month; required each month forever and ever.



Initial broom removal was conducted in 1991-93 by me and a few Friends, and I spent the next two decades removing the regrowth to exhaust the bank of seeds. Today, new broom is likely deposited by the wind or birds. Of interest to future volunteers, broom as-young-as 3yrs/30” can produce seeds, so it’s absolutely essential to remove the baby broom monthly to exhaust and wipeout the generations. The eastern broom zone includes the entire bluff area and all meadows surrounding the LAUWELNEW Trail; please don’t allow broom to grow beyond 6”.



Two types of garbage have been removed: new & old.

New garbage is within 45 days, usually some cans and plastic. But, from time to time huge parties produce considerable garbage, which takes several searches to remove everything. The summer of 2014 had three such parties, verse 2015 had none.

Old garbage seemed to date from the 1950s onwards. I’ve removed 50+ bags and from time to time an old bottle emerges thanks to a deer revealing where it was buried.

Either new or old, all garbage is removed upon discovery. Of interest to future volunteers, typically Pickles’ Bluff generates eight half-bags per year; imagine the accumulation if garbage wasn’t removed? The lower shelves need to be searched and continually cleaned to prevent accumulation.



                Definitions for Pickles’ Bluff:

  • Debt = broom taller than 5” & garbage older than 40 days
  • Deficit = broom shorter than 5” & garbage newer than 40 days
  • Mint Condition = reaffirmed monthly, 100% broom & garbage free


It’s all about providing exceptional stewardship; the good news is: the hard work is done! Future volunteers will inherit a zero debt & deficit workload; broom and garbage removal can be done together, one hour per month forever.

I absolutely know to sustain the achievement, Pickles’ Bluff requires 12 volunteer hours per year.



  • require 2 persons, age 50 and younger
  • suggest a 5-10yr commitment
  • encourage younger persons, suggest funding a first aid course
  • cultivate a mentorship relationship
  • express the value of work done (retain key volunteers)
  • recognise a committed volunteer; I’ve proposed $1 per hour to cover expenses ($12 annually), or reimburse the following:
  1. first aid kit (hidden at bluff)
  2. gloves, disposable
  3. garbage bags
  4. zip-lock bags (for broken glass)
  5. graffiti remover w/scrub brush and rags
  6. small broom (for steps)
  7. a pair of socks



Because Pickles’ Bluff is a high priority, in the event volunteers don’t emerge, I believe a Friends group or my descendants should contract the work. The value and worth of “broom & garbage free” is significant, much more than $1 per hour; suggest $200 annually / $2,000 per decade.

  • I believe a volunteer can be retained when they’re thanked and supported
  • Pickles’ Bluff should always be in mint condition
  • The above information has been entered into the Park Data Handbook



  • old garbage – older than 45 days
  • new garbage – newer than 45 days


Examples are & will always be:

  • motor cycle seat (1990)
  • beer bottles
  • wine bottles
  • liquor bottles
  • bottles smashed
  • beer cans
  • pop cans
  • plastic beverage containers
  • plastic beverage container lids
  • plastic Slurpee cups w/lids & straws
  • tetra packs
  • straws
  • straw plastic covers
  • paper coffee cups w/plastic covers
  • modified containers for drug consumption
  • drug paraphernalia items
  • plastic bags
  • plastic sandwich/food containers
  • twist ties
  • wrappers
  • fruit labels
  • china plates
  • cutlery
  • batteries
  • underwear & socks
  • shoes
  • shirts
  • hats
  • gloves
  • towels
  • umbrellas
  • female hygiene’s (both)
  • condom wrapper w/used
  • tissues, dry & wet
  • diapers
  • dog poop bags
  • toys
  • glow sticks
  • fireworks
  • matches & lighters
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • pen & pencils
  • chalk
  • student homework
  • band aids
  • receipts
  • spray paint cans
  • golf tees
  • golf balls
  • golf club
  • plastic bags
  • cigarette butts
  • plastic cigarette butts
  • lawn chairs
  • tent poles & pegs
  • balloons
  • string
  • ropes
  • bungee cords
  • blankets
  • tennis balls
  • Frisbee’s
  • basket ball
  • cremation container
  • airplane antenna
  • staircase construction debris (2002)
Log in | all content © Jarrett Thomas Teague 2020 | site design by