The priorities of 35 and 25 years ago


At Lillian Hoffar Park which fronts on the western side of Tsehum Harbour, recently 14 people met for a three hour ivy pull. This Stage 1 removal brought back memories of the initial ivy removal at Illahie during the late 1990s. Mid-morning, I moved over to the base of a tree. Someone previously had severed the roots from the tree and did much removal. I removed the remaining bigger roots and nearby ivy slips. Later, I noticed another fellow working that same spot and he removed much more ivy. This reminded me of one of my favorite words – exponentially (more and more rapidly).


In North Saanich, what is occurring at RO Bull, Quarry and Lillian Hoffar is stewardship in an exponential manner. Afterwards, on the way home I thought about what I experienced. I concluded that the results of stewardship trains and empowers others to push forward. The excitement of momentum pours into a few people, and then empowers them to pour into more people enabling opportunity for exponential results. I believe partnering with the community, equipping and developing leaders multiplies the reach of the days work. I also have learnt that stewardship relationships creates exponential involvement.


Similarly over the past 35 years, ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Park (L/JDP) has experienced exponential stewardship. In 2010, the park was declared invasive free and fully restored. That was a huge achievement, however it still means ongoing new removals and maintenance is persistently required to sustain the achievement. Any time after 2010, anyone who knows what to look for can walk through the park and find it in great shape. So-much-so, the newest volunteers (FJDPS) are working on interpretive signage and paving the entrance road – this is their priority.


Having had now volunteered for 30 years at L/JDP, I know that an awareness of a subject can lead people to mistakenly believe that they know all there is to know. As the Dunning-Kruger effect explains: “The less they know, the more certain they are.” Inconsistency is perhaps the best word to describe the dissonance between what needs to be done and what people want to believe.


The cleanup, restoration and stewardship of L/JDP began in 1984. At that time, vandalism was relentless, party garbage remained strewn in the old picnic site, at the summit and viewpoints. Significant erosion was occurring along the original trails. In-fact, the park was totally neglected. It’s quite interesting to understand the priorities of 35 and 25 years ago versus today.


On May 10, 1984: 1) Edith Gardner; 2) Cy Hampson; 3) Josephine Doman; and 4) Des Crossley, met at: 5-6) Elizabeth and Edo Nyland’s home. They all had become increasingly concerned about the miss-use and the future of the park – they decided to create a “Friends.” Their concerns were:

  • Garbage dumping along the entrance road
  • Fire hazards
  • Vandalism to facilities
  • Nighttime parties
  • Damage by motor bikes and horses
  • Regulation signs being removed
  • Eroding trails
  • No entrance sign or kiosk
  • Accumulated construction debris at the radar tower
  • Rumors of park transfer from the province to the region


The 1991 Friends Executive created this action list:

  • Master plan
  • Design for entry gate
  • Entrance sign
  • Information kiosk
  • Information pamphlet
  • Repair of dam
  • Replacing stairs at dam
  • Summit trails eroding
  • Park boundary signs
  • Park trails signs
  • Park map
  • Excessive blowing of main trails
  • Request of bark mulch


Meanwhile in 1991, governmental agencies were actively planning:

  • Reservoir (CRD)
  • Park transfer (province)
  • Tree topping (federal)


The 1995 Friends Executive created this action list:

  • Park brochure is available
  • Proposed transfer
  • Declining membership
  • Mountain bikes on trails
  • Broom pulling efforts
  • Signage is needed
  • Trail maintenance
  • Update on gate and maintenance contracts, April
  • Water reservoir landscaping and road paving, June
  • Park map, 15 for trail junctions, September
  • Regulation signage forthcoming
  • Dam repair and new steps, autumn
  • Main trail gravel surfacing, autumn


Thirty years later – In 2014, knowing the modern day Friends was looking for a purpose, the following was offered:


Membership provides brochures, a colour map, newsletters, and the following opportunities:

  • Access to information
  • An avenue to report concerns
  • Invites to nature & history tours
  • Interpretative guide experience
  • Designing interpretative signage
  • Trail monitoring experience
  • Pride in maintaining a clean park
  • Encourage community awareness
  • To hand the park on to the next generation in a better condition


I believe exponential stewardship pours into people, then empowers them to pour into more people. Jarrett – 2019

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