The Creation of a Flagship Provincial Park
In 1921, John Dean protected his amazing untouched property by creating Dean Park (80 acres). At this time, the slopes of ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱／Mount Newton had not been logged or touched by mankind. There were no highways, airport or ferries and the nearby population was very small. The ecosystem of the mountain was intact, pristine and quiet. Thankfully Dean possessed the foresight and awareness to create this mountaintop park.
ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱／John Dean Park (Ƚ/JDP) encompasses the summit of Mount Newton, traditionally known by the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich, the Emerging People) in their SENĆOŦEN language as ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ (Place of Refuge/Escape/Healing).
Starting in 1937, the BOḰEĆEN/Pauquachin Reserve and all other surrounding properties were selectively logged. Meanwhile Dean Park was developed and opened for public access. The end-result was that the highest old growth valley on the mountain remained intact and showcased giant old growth trees. The park promptly became an extraordinary place to visit and explore.
Although the times and realities have changed, the spirt of place, and our familiarity and wonder with it, has not. The legacy of John Dean’s 1921 gift continues to preserve the forest surrounding the summit, and has become a place of refuge from the busy world below . . .