The centennial of ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ / John Dean

1st Donated BC Park

Established: December 9, 1921 | 2021 Centennial

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John Dean 21 - The Signature Decisions of John Dean Provincial Park - The Centennial

CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF THE PARK, the ancient history of ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ (Place of Refuge) is explored and the centenary of John Dean’s unique gift is contemplated.

Only a century ago, in 1918 and 1920 John Dean spent his most days per year at his cabin named ILLAHIE. The public and friends visited, and they loved the atmosphere. The cabin’s location, Dean’s stories, the big trees, vistas, and the essence of place stirred visitors love towards his property, which surely inspired John Dean. In 1918, John Dean promised the Sidney Board of Trade a portion of his property for a reservoir. Through 1919 and 1921, John Dean worked with the provincial government to create DEAN PARK.

A century later, the mountains traditional name ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ (Place of Refuge) was added to the parks title. Established on December 9, 1921, ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Park has the distinction as the first donated provincial park. Today this flagship park is expanded, protected, treasured, highly maintained, and remains a place of connection.

Forest Fuel Load Treatment

East Boundary, Oct-Nov 21

BC Forest Service Wild Fire Branch at ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park – to reduce the fuel loads within the forest along the eastern boundary and along the entrance road, this October and November, the BC Forest Service Wild Fire Branch will undertake a Fuel Management Prescription. Fifteen areas along the park’s eastern boundary and the entrance road have been identified:



A1        west of Charmanah

A2        west of Charmanah and up Raven Creek

A3        above Barret Montfort Trail road crossing

A4        between Dean Park Road and Minstrel Place

A5        west of Minstrel and Echo Places

A6        west of Cathedral Place, south boundary

A7        west of Cathedral Place

A8        between Barret Montfort Trail and Cathedral Place

A9        east of Barret Montfort Trail

A10      above Dean Park Road, north of fire hydrant

A11      above Dean Park Road, south of Barret Montfort Trail



B1        south of road, above Slektain and Bob Boyd Trailheads, north of road

B2        north of road, below upper Slektain meadow

B3        east of road, mid-point



C1        a circular area surrounding the parking lot; from upper parking lot, mid-Thunderbird south of the summit access road to below upper Valley Mist Trailheads.





This treatment area is part of a long-term plan to mitigate the wildfire hazard in ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park where high visitor use increases the probability of fire starts from human ignitions and potentially impact values at risk including park amenities, nearby structures, and ecological features. Increased visitor demand and use of the park as a regional recreational destination have increased the number of people accessing the trails which are popular with dog owners, local residents, and tourists. These factors add to the growing concern of this area for fuel mitigation activities necessary to protect communities from the threat of wildfire.


The objective of this fuel treatment prescription will focus on reducing high hazard fuels directly adjacent to residential areas, park buildings and structures, First Nations values, trails, and the Dean Park Road access / egress route. Proposed fuel treatments of high hazard fuels (Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System C-3 fuel type) are thinning, pruning and surface fuel removal to reduce the likelihood of a surface fire transitioning to a more dangerous crown fire, thereby protecting property and critical infrastructure from damage and improving the personal safety of visitors and staff. Additionally, fuel treatments will facilitate access and safety for firefighting crews, should a wildfire burn through or start in this area.


By removing smaller stems, fuel continuity and ladder fuels will be reduced. In relation to the fuel components of the Wildfire Threat Assessment worksheet, the focus of the treatment is to reduce the density of live and dead suppressed understory conifers <17.5cm diameter, raise the crown base height by removing live lower branches, and reduce surface fuels (fine, medium and coarse woody debris).


In addition, fuel treatments will support the conservation and recreation objectives of the Park Act and ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park to mimic the region’s previous fire regimes, increase understory biological diversity, promote gap dynamics, advance the stand towards old growth succession thereby protecting old-growth Douglas-fir forest, and to provide opportunities for the study, viewing, and enjoyment of the park’s ecosystems.





  • Maintain BC Parks’ mandate to preserve the natural environment for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public (Conservation and Recreation);
  • Comply with the Park Act and associated regulations and policies, including the BC Parks Conservation Policy and Tree Removal Policy by prescribing only the removal of those trees and debris accumulations that pose a threat to human safety and to the natural ecosystems protected by the park;
  • Enhance the resilience of old growth ecosystems of ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park by reducing fire threat within specified areas of the park. This is in line with the primary role of the park outlined in the John Dean Provincial Park Purpose Statement and Zoning Plan, which is to ‘protect one of the best remnants of old growth Douglas-fir forest on south Vancouver Island.’ Enhancing the resilience of ecosystems to fire in ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park in also in line with the secondary and tertiary roles of the park, which are to ‘provide day use opportunities for study, viewing and appreciation associated with the natural and cultural values of the park’ and to ‘protect cultural and historic resources and values.’ By implementing small disturbances to the stands in ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park (thinning from below), large, catastrophic disturbance from wildfire can be avoided;
  • Increase the succession of mature forests (present stand age 87-114 years) to old growth along the eastern boundary of ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park. Thinning Fuel Management Prescription Revised May 12, 2015 Page 2 treatments has been shown to increase both conifer regeneration and shrub cover, hastening the development of multistory stands with old growth attributes;
  • Take into consideration local community concerns about fuel loading and fire risk, including the risk of a wildfire starting in the park due to a discarded cigarette on Dean Park Road, and the risk of a wildfire in the park spreading to the adjacent residential neighbourhood (Dean Park Estates) (Fuel Management);
  • Create a 100 m buffer of reduced fuel loading along the eastern boundary of ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park to help reduce the risk of a fire spreading into or from Dean Park Estates (Fuel Management);
  • Enhance the ability of park managers to protect both human and natural values at risk, including human health and safety, recreational enjoyment, wildlife habitat, and protected ecosystems, by providing an anchor point for suppression efforts (Fuel Management, Recreation, Conservation);
  • Reduce crown and surface fire behaviour potential by targeting understorey trees, ladder, and surface fuels as a priority for fuel reduction through thinning stems <17.5 cm diameter-at-breast height (dbh), pruning; chipping, and the offsite disposal of excess fuels while maintaining visual quality for park users, and conserving biodiversity and wildlife habitat values (Fuel Management); and
  • Minimize impacts to, and where possible enhance, the many values on the eastern boundary of ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park, including aesthetic and visual values for park visitors and habitat for plant and wildlife species (Conservation, Recreation).


Reports prepared by B.A. Blackwell & Associates, March 31, 2020

Source materials provided by BC Parks

West Viewpoint Trailhead 2021

Great news for everyone; access improvement and trail upgrades are underway. The 1995 staircase infrastructure will be removed (June 2021) and replaced with a new 15% trailhead that will serve as an accessible and sustainable trailhead route.

Over the past two years, BC Parks staff and experienced trail volunteers have located the most appropriate trail route. The new route is approved; reconfiguration is underway… a new switchback trail route will be opened this June.

ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ / John Dean Park, West Viewpoint Trail

–          1937 – trail built

–          1995 – staircase installed

–          2021 – staircase removed

To improve trail access and safety, this year BC Parks will be removing the staircase and installing a new access trail. The route has been carefully selected. It starts from the middle of the pond and traverses up a 15% gradient. The upshot is that staircase replacement and downline maintenance costs will be avoided, and hikers will experience an easier trail approach.

If you are interested in more information or decision timeline details, please e-mail

The BC Parks Ranger e-mail address is:

Thank-you for your suggestions and support.

Best, Jarrett


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 . . .


(1130) John Dean Park 100 (L/JDP) – YouTube



Andrew Mitchell

Andrew Smith Mitchell, 28 Jul 47 – 6 Nov 20

Andrew Mitchell Obituary (2020) – The Times Colonist (


Andrew has been visiting the park since the mid-80s. I first met Andrew in September 2002, shortly after he retired from the Forest Service. Within a few years he became a regular walker on the Alec Road, Merrill Harrop Trail, every morning. Imagine that… must be over 5,000 trips up & down.


Andrew leaves behind four amazing women:

  • Wife Janet (69) married for 45 years
  • Daughter #1, Jennifer (41) who lives in Ontario
  • Daughter #2, Laura (38) who visits the park every day
  • Daughter #3, Heather (34) who lives near Oak Bay


A retired Professional Forester, a wonderful family man, a major park volunteer and true friend . . . I am writing to report my best friend, Andrew Mitchell has passed (73).


On 10 Nov 20, I placed the second set of flowers at the signpost, and walked the Harrop Trail for the first-time knowing Andrew was gone (my heart was wrenching). The night prior there was a wind and some branches fell, this was the first change that happened of which Andrew has not seen. And sure enough, WOW, I encountered his wife Janet, youngest daughter Heather with friend Joseph, and middle daughter Laura. A hundred feet away, I let out, “Hello Andrew”, just as I have done for years. Felt so good, and the greeting was warmly received by family.


Every time I worked with Andrew on a specific project, I jokingly asked, what is your middle name…


Smith, he replied.


I always asked, who was Smith.


Smith is my Grandmother’s maiden name [1875–1949].


The conversation naturally continued into getting to know each other. We averaged a day or a project working together about 2-3 times a year, and we walked together weekly along the Merrill Harrop Trail. One time I mentioned that traditional Foresters sign their memo’s using their initials. I asked, how does A.S. Mitchell Arbutus Grove sound? And Andrew laughed. The topic was just for laughs, as we expected him to live another 20+ years.


I am 46, Andrew 73 (27-year difference); and I can say he was my best friend. Three times over the past decade, my wife Touria telephoned Andrew expressing concern that I was late and may be hurt in the park. Twice, Andrew left his home in the dark and drove to Alec, Thomson, Carmanah and Dunsmuir, looking for my car. Turns out I arrived home as he was driving. One time, I found him at Alec Road at 5:30pm sitting in his car, engine running, radio on, waiting for me. It was mid-December, misty wet, and he showed that he cared for me. Not just cared for me, but clearly understood the fullness that goes into the levels of volunteering we undertook.


I made it up to him…. I responded to an invite to receive a box of squash he grew in his garden… The box was so incredibly heavy, it could not be lifted; my back seat was filled. Andrew was much more than a Forester, he was a family man, gardener, cook, an excellent father to the girls, and fully cared for the family.


We shared and agreed over many conversations concerning trail standards in parks. He fully understood trail gradient and always referred to the leading US National Parks trail standards. Once, I arrived at Alec Road, the rain was so heavy (all-day type) that I withdrew and went to his home for a visit. We sat together and drank many cups of a white tea (Janet, I need to know the name?)… His kitchen table was purposely built, very thick, wonderful, warm, and so large that I am sure it cannot be moved, lol. Andrew was the guy to open his door and say, “come on in”. I think I arrived a dozen times, and never once did he show awkwardness, rather it was a full welcome. He was a genuine man, a true real guy, a man who knew and understood everyone, and welcomed friends.


My wife Touria reacted to a remark I made about Andrew kicking a stone out of the trails surface. She said, “Stop, I would get on my knees and kiss his feet. He is wonderful and cares for Laura.”


The morning of Andrew’s 70th birthday, I planned a meet-up with Andrew at the Alec Road trailhead. My two sons, Amir and Sami came with me (ages then, 6 and 4), and we gave him a gift and a fantastic send-off for his walk with Laura. In-hindsight, I am so glad I made the effort to express my love…


Andrew: hundreds of people are thinking of you and will miss you. I am sure everyone who knew you will think of you every time they walk the parks west-side Alec Road Trail. We have your thinking, and friendship continuously in our minds … LOVE


In 2006, Andrew and myself met with BC Parks, and Andrew volunteered to undertake several trail renovations over the coming years. These are the larger projects which Andrew initiated and accomplished. They were well done, solid, and will be in place for many decades to come:

  • Slektain Trail: placed soils over roots, raised stretches, and installed lower-side trail supports;
  • Barret Montfort Trail West: removed tripping hazards and graded the trail surface;
  • Barret Montfort Trail East: re-established the trail level by re-digging the initial cut and installed edging supports;
  • Woodward Trail: removed tripping hazards and re-established trail levels;
  • Surveyors Trail, east trailhead: added flat stones to reinforce the water bars;
  • Surveyors Trail, Canyon, east side: installed a wide rip-rap staircase and rerouted the trail up and around a stump. This was his largest project. My only involvement was in the finishing (this is Andrew’s flagship project);
  • Surveyors Trail, Owl Hollow: installed a large pipe and raised the crossing approaches;
  • Duck Pond: removed the two old 12” culverts and established a proper outflow channel with a 12’ start to the channel;
  • Merrill Harrop Trail: removed tripping hazards and placed clay soils over roots;
  • Merrill Harrop Trail: Built two stone walls to support the trails lower edge (2018);
  • Merrill Harrop Trail: gathered the rocks and built a 60’ stone wall to support the trails lower edge (2020), this was Andrew’s last project (3 Oct 20);
  • For 15 years, monitored the Merrill Harrop Trail, West Viewpoint Trail, Valley Mist Trail, Illahie Trail and Woodard Trail. He tended to fallen debris and cleared many smaller trees; and
  • Andrew was a seasoned Forester at heart. Through conversation Andrew provided concepts, information and true interpretation to regulars and visitors alike.


Before I cry, I need to state that Andrew was a wonderful person on all levels, family, friends and gave to the park he loved. He was my park-friend, a major volunteer, and I relished our weekly encounters in the park.


From Andrew’s family private stories: a few months ago, in conversation a family friend pointed upwards to God, and Andrew added, “God is everywhere around us.”


Andrew Smith Mitchell: so-long my friend, so-long! Sending my LOVE. I am looking forward to our future friendship!

Andrew’s Service (13 Nov 20). . . was amazing and so perfect. One of the takeaways for myself was that Andrew was truly a caregiver in all ways: family, through his professional career standing up for the environment, he advocated for the disabled, and cared for parks. From L/JDP, Dan Backan and myself were Pall Bearers, along with his brother William Mitchell, and friends Victor Dove, John Stephans and Joseph Sheppard.


I was flabbergasted to hear the Scottish bag pipe, and to learn he won a heavy lifting medal at the Scottish Universities’ Championship. —- We love and will miss you Andrew!

LOVE from US

Update: 16 Nov 20 – It is very hard to say so-long to a friend. After listening to much music… my heart leads me to this. I’m hoping you can play high-volume and tend to your kitchen or office and think of Andrew.

A major park volunteer and friend – thank-you Andrew!

MITCHELL, Andrew Smith July 28, 1947 – November 6, 2020 Andrew is survived by his wife of almost 45 years, Janet and three daughters, Jennifer (Kaarlo) Hinkkala, Laura, and Heather Mitchell. He is also survived by his brother William (Courtney) Mitchell and sister Mary (Bill) Cant. Andrew was beloved by his family and community. He was dedicated to helping his daughter Laura. Andrew was born in the manse at Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. His father, Andrew, was a Presbyterian minister and his mother, Jane (nee Sutherland) was a nurse. He climbed many mountains with his father and older brother including Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. At the University of Aberdeen, Andrew was awarded a heavyweight lifting metal at the Scottish Universities’ Championships. He completed his degree in forestry and immigrated to Canada soon after, finally settling on Vancouver Island. He worked for private forestry companies, then at UBC, and then for thirty years with the BC government as a forestry engineer. He, with Laura, was a long-time regular hiker at John Dean Park and was beloved by all the other regulars. He took pride in doing restoration work on the park’s trails and sharing his informative views on sustainable forest practices and restoration. Andrew also built the timber-frame kiosk at Dominion Brook Park. He was an avid gardener, carpenter, and homebuilder. Andrew built three homes. His first was a prefab up island. He then designed and built two homes in North Saanich. His wife, Janet, worked with him to build the second home. The third house was a timber frame that Andrew built over several years. Andrew was dedicated to his family and stood up for social justice and ecological conservation. He enjoyed reading and Scottish country dancing. Andrew lived simply in the example of Jesus throughout his life. He was intelligent, caring, and had outstanding character. He will be dearly missed. May his trails be a lasting legacy to all. A private outdoor green burial service in Royal Oak was held on November 13.To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

Published in Victoria Times Colonist from Dec. 6, 2020 to Jan. 5, 2021.

Pronunciation and Definition

ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ (Clay will nook)

ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ is the traditional name for Mount Newton

ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ means Place of Refuge/Escape/Healing

ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ is best pronounced as Clay will nook

1921-1936 DEAN PARK

1936-1957 JOHN DEAN PARK




The Mt. Rainier Sign, 25 Aug 20

L/JDP 100 – We’re now experiencing the 100th anniversary of ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park. The scope of this anniversary ranges between 2018 and 2021.

100 Years ago today, John Dean created a sign for those visiting the summit… Mt. Rainier >>> 150 miles away, 14,408 Ft. High

A century later, the trail signs throughout the park shine…  This month, all 70 trail signs are being sanded and painted with a new BC Parks brown stain.


25 Aug 1920 – Quite cool – Made signboard, lettered + painted letters, Mt. Rainier >>> 150 miles away, 14,408 Ft. High; finished paint 8:45, retired at 9pm tired. (6:45am 55, 12pm 54, 9pm 58)

26 Aug 1920– Bed fall going out – Painting cellar door + setting post + signboard on summit. Left for town at 7pm, rain coming. (7am 52, 2pm 62)




2018-2021 Centennial Years







R 052048Z AUG 20


























Paving the Parking Lot

May 4-5, 2020, the 1938 parking lot and upper road at L/JDP was prepped and paved. Many thanks to the Friends of John Dean Park Society and BC Parks (through the Parks Enhancement Fund) for partnering to fund this project. Well done!

Next year this grand-old park turns 100.

More info:


The Park is now invasive free

Stewardship Fervour | 5yr Strategy (2017-2021)


In North Saanich, an ecosystem revival has occurred at Quarry Park (4th year in-progress). We started spring 2017. So far over 115 induvial people have volunteered 482hrs over 12 events.


On September 25, 2017, I wrote, “I’m big on Quarry Park! It’s achievable… It’s a big surge — can you picture the glory of this achievement?”


End-March 2020 I reported to the Friends of North Saanich Parks that Quarry Park was done! Even I’m surprised with this rapid accomplishment. After 3yrs and over a total of 800 hours, the entire park property is at Stage 6, plus some areas just outside the park have been pulled.


Part 1: QUARRY PARK (North Saanich)

Quarry Park is the most southern park in North Saanich, and when driving along East Saanich Road one can’t help but notice that stretch of unusually tall forest which is park. The park has a great forest floor which can host the full variety of natural forest plants and wildlife. There are several 250 year-old Douglas firs situated near the special cliff area. These big-old trees have watched over this area since the mid-1700s. Underneath the high southern cliff are two natural dens which can be used by mammals. The manmade 1930s granite quarry has metamorphosed into a natural environment, and has become an interesting place for kids to play, realise reclamation, and experience a local forest that is protected from development. To maintain a natural (as-possible) forest, it is important to set the stewardship example and inspire the next generations to maintain and/or improve what they have.



Autumn 1982, while in grade three at Sansbury Elementary, I first regularly biked to and hiked in Quarry Park. The park felt revitalized and welcoming. New cedar signs had been placed at both of the Horseshoe Trailheads, a round cedar picnic table with two chairs were placed in the middle of the quarry, and a bench was perfectly positioned above the southern cliff. My first impression was that Quarry Park was cared for. However, it didn’t take long for me to realise the park was becoming neglected.

In January 1991 (age 16), inspired by the Friends of John Dean Park, I attempted to start a Friends of Quarry Park. I created a basic pamphlet and delivered it to my entire paper route plus the nearby homes. Looking back, it was not surprising that I did not receive a single response. I also wrote North Saanich Council and later walked Quarry Park with the Parks Commission. The upshot was I learnt the commissioners wanted to inspire volunteers, and had plans to create a new Park Warden program. A few months later, I was invited to attend the municipal hall after school, and was one of the first people to be presented the new North Saanich Volunteer Green Ball Cap. This gift motivated my role at Quarry Park, and it continued until 1999 when I moved to East Sooke, and joined the Regular Armed Forces.

During the 1990s I was so heavily involved in removing broom and ivy from the flagship John Dean Park, I simply didn’t see Quarry as a priority. Also, because I was young, I didn’t have the necessary awareness I now possess, to take the essential preventive action. A major conflict of my time and true interest occurred with John Dean Park, so Quarry fell aside and only remained in my heart. By the mid-2000s, the ivy was spreading into Quarry Park, and Daphne, laurel, holly, and blackberry followed and established.




  • Sharon: (Co-founder, Executive Director, North Saanich Liaison)
  • Jarrett: (Quarry Park Steward and Technical Advisor)
  • Ashlee: (Founder, Emeritus Standing, Advisor)


Thank goodness by 2017, Ashlee and Sharon had created Friends of North Saanich Parks. R.O. Bull, Denham Till, Lillian Hoffar, Nymph Point and Quarry Park, were the first parks to receive their attention, chiefly on the invasive species front. In 2018, work started in Gulf View Park. Some of their mission and vision statements are:



  • “Our mission is to create stewardships for each park in North Saanich. There are 24 parks in North Saanich in need of restoring. We are removing invasive plant species out of these parks while building relationships with the community.”
  • “The invasive plant species in North Saanich Parks are decreasing the biodiversity, suffocating native species and negatively impacting the ecosystem and its soils. Let’s work together to remove invasive plants out of our North Saanich parks and help the forests return to their natures state.”
  • “We hope to remove all the invasive plant species out of a series of parks per year as well as support the development of stewardships for these parks.”
  • “Let’s help restore the ecosystem and protect the animals and native plants.”


Such vision and leadership quickly got my attention, and I attended the first work parties at Quarry Park. We have now hosted or organized a dozen ivy pulls. We started along East Saanich Road, from inside the quarry upwards on all sides, worked around the quarry, and each time produced a large pile of debris. After each event, North Saanich municipal staff has removed a large pile of invasive plants and the accumulated garbage. Here are the “work party” events:


  • 29 Apr 17 | Friends & 10th Tsartlip Scouts | 12 volunteers, 3.75hrs | 45hrs
  • 28 Oct 17 | Friends & 10th Tsartlip Scouts | 17 volunteers, 3.75hrs | 63.75hrs
  • 25 Nov 17 | Friends | 8 volunteers, 4hrs | 32hrs
  • 12 May 18 | Friends & Men’s Newcomers | 7 volunteers, 3.75hrs | 26.25hrs
  • 16 Jun 18 | Friends & Green Team | 23 volunteers, 3.25hrs | 74.75hrs
  • 20 Oct 18 | Friends & Green Team | 17 volunteers, 3.25hrs | 55.25hrs
  • 5 Apr 19 | Friends | 7 volunteers | 21.75
  • 11 May 19 | Friends & Green Team | 18 volunteers, 3.25hrs | 58.5
  • 15 Jun 19 | Friends | 8 volunteers, 4hrs | 32hrs
  • 10 Aug 19 | Friends | 12 volunteers, 4hrs | 45hrs
  • 25 Aug 19 | Friends | 11 volunteers, 2.5hrs | 27.5hrs
  • 2 Nov 19 | Green Team | 31 volunteers (8 were under age 8), 3.25hrs | 100.75hrs



  • On November 25, 2017, Sharon wrote: “Let me congratulate you on being the first true Steward of a park under the North Saanich municipality through the Friends of North Saanich Parks.”
  • On June 30, 2018, Sharon wrote: “Jarrett you are truly one of the most persistent people I know, congratulations on being a stellar example to others in terms of ecological volunteering. Good luck as you continue.”
  • On August 19, 2019, Sharon wrote: “As you all know, it is extremely difficult to find committed volunteers and Jarrett is a valued member of the Friends of North Saanich Parks. He is the Steward of Quarry Park where we began work in during 2017.”
  • On March 28, 2020, Sharon wrote: “Jarrett thanks for your hours everyone. Just to let you all know Jarrett completed Quarry Park on his-own, so we can move it into monitoring on schedule! Well done Jarrett!”
  • On 7 Apr 2020, Ashlee wrote: “A big congratulations to you!!!!! Quarry Park is very lucky to have such a dedicated Steward. You are an inspiration! Thank you so much for all you do. I will have to take a walk through and admire all the native flowers that will come up now that they are free to do so.”



Quarry Park is now completed and has an operating plan in-place to regularly patrol each zone indefinitely for invasive regrowth and removal.


Gulf View Park at the base of Dean Park Road on East Saanich is next. Luckily Al Michel has taken on this park as the Steward. We started at Gulf View last year; please help the Friends of North Saanich Parks to restore this park by giving a couple hours of your time. If you’re interested in restoring a local park, contact Sharon,


Part 4: MY 2017-20 QUARRY PARK WORKFLOW (Quarry Park Steward)

  • Removed major garbage (two trucks were filled);
  • Boundary awareness achieved, every property pin was located;
  • Ivy was severed from tree bases;
  • The parks ivy was mapped, and a five-year removal plan was planned/plotted;
  • North Saanich staff removed blackberry from inside the quarry; wheel ruts were leveled and the quarry became an attractive parklike setting;
  • Participated and/or lead the work parties;
  • Daphne, laurel, holly, and blackberry are removed as discovered. Ivy is removed in priority, and stages;
  • The high south area was cleaned of garbage and the old picnic table was removed;
  • Old kids forts and bike jumps were dismantled and sites restored;
  • Major holly and blackberry were removed south of the quarry;
  • To achieve full ivy removal, my strategy was to properly remove ivy working from inside the inside outwards and from the outer boundary inwards and/or as inspired to work. The oldest and deepest two patches were throughout the upper flat area which was achieved spring 2019. The lower SE corner was achieved spring 2020; and
  • The last of the old wire fencing and posts were removed from along the ditch, summit and the north line; and
  • For public outreach and interpretation, two videos were created to showcase the results of invasive removal, engage young learners, and to promote the benefits of park stewardship ethics.


Part 5: QUARRY PARK IVY ZONES (spring 2020)



(5 zones)


(16 areas)


(April 2020)

1 – Inside Quarry, and up to the surrounding Horseshoe Trail a)      Quarry bottom

b)      North slope to trail

c)      East cliff

d)      South slope to trail

a)      Stage 7

b)      Stage 7

c)      Stage 7

d)      Stage 7

2 – Roadside a)      1st power pole

b)      2nd power pole

c)      SW corner

a)      Stage 7

b)      Stage 7

c)      Stage 4

3 – South of Quarry, outside of Horseshoe Trail a)      Trail to fallen log

b)      Fallen log to cliff base

c)      SW of cliff base

d)      South line

a)      Stage 7

b)      Stage 6

c)      Stage 6

d)      Stage 6

4 – North of Quarry, outside of Horseshoe Trail a)      North trailhead

b)      Trail to north boundary

a)      Stage 7

b)      Stage 7

5 – Adjoining ivy patches a)      SE corner below road

b)      SE corner above road

c)      SSW corner, south of fence

a)      Stage 3

b)      Stage 3

c)      Stage 3


IVY REMOVAL STAGES (2020 current thinking)

  • Plan;
  • Prep and Initial Removals;
  • Major Removal;
  • Follow-up;
  • Search;
  • Inspection; and
  • Commit (long-term monitoring & taking action).



English ivy (Hedera helix) is an evergreen vine that is renowned as a serious, smothering invasive plant. When planted by mankind, or when eventually birds deposit seeds, it quickly grows and forms a dense monoculture groundcover that suppresses the natural vegetation, and the forest floor becomes unsuitable for native creatures and birds. Also, the vines climb the trees, and during heavy winds or when snow and ice intensify, trees with heavy ivy are forced down.


From an ecological perspective, invasive species upset the balance of an ecosystem. Also, the synergy that comes from caring for a natural ecosystem is experienced in so many ways. In summary, there are many major benefits to removing invasive plants:

  • Trees of all sizes are conserved;
  • Sunlight increases, native flora and fauna flourishes;
  • The forest floor returns to a natural vegetated state;
  • The chemistry of soil balances; nutrients and ecosystem return to an equilibrium;
  • The ecological condition naturalises, slugs, snails and amphibians increase;
  • The number of birds visiting and feeding greatly increases;
  • Visitors experience and enjoy a natural forest environment, wellness increases;
  • Neighbors to the park experience the benefits of a more accessible natural space;
  • Children come to play; the park is cherished for multiple decades;
  • The park becomes a welcoming and a special place to spend time; the community responds, parks staff and political resources are allocated;
  • The park becomes an architype (natural museum). People experience a non-invasive forest environment; and
  • A model of stewardship is established, maintained and displayed. Today’s youth see that a park can be restored and be cared for. In-turn Quarry Park or the parks where they will reside in the future may be restored by them decades later. The results are twofold, physically within the Quarry Park and exponentially into the future when the next generation understands the thinking of park health, ecology and proper park management.


Part 7: AUTUMN 2021 GOAL (achieved one year earlier)

Quarry Park has been a major undertaking (far surpasses Illahie). My plan was to achieve stage 6 (Inspection/extensive examination, declared ivy free) by November 2021. This was achieved in April 2020. The amount of ivy at Quarry Park was ten times larger than the Illahie patch was at John Dean Park. The only difference was that the Illahie ivy was 80 years old, 8” deep and well established. At Quarry Park there were three types of ivy, big leaf, medium leaf and thin vine, all were 30+ years old, only 2-3” deep, however it covered a much larger and complex area/terrain.


The ivy at Quarry Park entered the park from the roadside and/or birds deposited seeds while sitting in specific trees. This occurred during the mid-1980s which resulted in five separate origins of growth which spread in every direction. In only three decades, a few deposits of ivy seeds grew, took over along the road, the upper flat area and spread into the quarry, along the north line and in the SE corner. Luckily for Quarry Park, the ivy wasn’t deep, and it could be conquered. The only reality I foresee is that ivy surrounds the park on many private properties, and will surely re-enter the park. I’ll complete Stage 6 and commit to Stage 7 (commitment to long-term monitoring & action), plus take out other nearby patches. However to sustain the achievement after my lifetime, a caring and engaged level of stewardship will be required. Either the municipality of North Saanich or a future Friends of Quarry Park will be required to be on scene and take the necessary long-time removal actions. I’ll approach this in the same way as was done at Illahie within John Dean Park (1997-2009, plus onwards). Illahie took 13 years to properly arrive at stage 7. Quarry Park arrived at Stage 6 during the spring of 2020 (3 years). Full stage 7 will be underway by the summer of 2021.


As of this writing, 115 people have attended at least one ivy event, thank-you so much. Please help us restore Gulf View Park by giving a couple hours of your time. If you’re interested, contact Sharon or Jarrett. See you at Quarry or Gulf View Park . . .


Part 8: VALUE and WORTH

For years and years I’ve been told that “volunteering is volunteering”, better yet that “volunteering is a gift of time”. I believe these quick decrees have turned off multiple dozens of people, especially younger potentials.

I should declare my age is 45, and that I’ve worked with volunteer executives for 30 years. With the exception of my first years with the Friends of John Dean Park, I’ve never been compensated for clothing or expenses. I’ve found that most executives consist of those new to the area, ages average mid-60s, and they aren’t able to connect their executive position to the actual beneficial result of producing physical works, inspirations and/or creating a succession plan. I believe creating a vision and sharing a passion sets the goals which provides a vision and sets a desired outcome.

Since 2009, my ratio recompense thinking has been $1 per hour; I must mention that although I’ve suggested this idea, I’ve never received reimbursement for fuel, clothing, admin etc. Conversely since taking on Quarry Park in 2017 my thinking has involved. I Now believe if money is available, a 3rd time volunteer should receive a tip from a Friends/Society of $2 per hour for time worked which would compensate expenses incurred. The result would be that a committed regular feels acknowledged, appreciated and will likely be retained for many vital years, most likely the long term. Sadly my experience has repeatedly taught me that hopeful volunteers disappear before they become self-interested in taking on projects/goals.

At this time, the only way for a volunteer to express their contribution which includes preparation, transport time, time worked, special laundry, tools maintenance, footwear or clothing replacement, volunteer log submission and communication time is by reporting the “volunteer hours worked”; to provide those hours to a volunteer manager and/or park manager, and that that’s the end-of-the correspondence. Barely a thank-you is received from management. Which in-turn leaves the volunteer thinking, “who are you to thank-me?” This is the biggest volunteer system failure (who really cares is generated). I could report 3 or 30hrs in a month and it all falls on death ears; usually at the level of people who don’t really care.

For John Dean Park, I’ve always felt my ratio was near 25%. At Quarry Park, due to my advanced experience and interests in tracking such efforts/time/costs, I was very surprised to learn my time ratio is 66%. This high percentage makes me actually laugh aloud, however it’s the reality. To properly have someone (like myself) work 3hrs, actually means 5hrs. This 66% is time only, and has nothing to do with fuel, clothing and footwear, snacks and water and tool maintenance etc.

I understand that those who haven’t committed to a project or given + given will not be able to understand or connect with my thinking/experience. My message is not to benefit myself, rather to enable and/or provide a platform whereby future volunteers are properly supported which in-turn will grow the volunteer pool and enable the emergence of park stewards. The scope of recruiting and retaining a committed volunteer is worth an essay unto itself. I believe the definition of value and worth is rarely thought about and is almost always underestimated. Any hard-core volunteer will instantly connect with my thinking towards: effort of planning, executing time on-scene, snacks and beverages, extra meal on route home, special laundry, drying boots, physically recovering, volunteer log, communicating with the coordinator and planning the next visit.

When I look back over the past three years at Quarry Park, to do this again I’d gladly pay a promising teenager $15 per hour to follow me and assist. I’d do this to help myself, and to also have the opportunity to mentor and influence the next generation with lasting impressions of work ethic, mentality, commitment and whereby they’ll receive the base knowledge to take on their own future projects themselves.

I’ve grown to the point whereby I now accept and believe that when a person of average income (like me) becomes driven to completing a park restoration project, there is an option to also privately fund the project. Thanks to my mid-life hindsight, I now recognise how much money I’ve spent at a nearby pubs after each volunteer day. That type of money could have been so easily gifted to an apprentice. If that gift occurs, the upshot is the younger person grows, learns from the best, achieves a senior role of knowledge and understands the overall situation, and will thereby become dedicated to the goals of the project. The result is labour is accomplished and the memory of what happened is preserved within a younger person who’ll most likely recall the park revival many decades later.

Shared time with:

  • Butterfly
  • Mosquito
  • Moth
  • Centipede
  • Slug
  • Frog
  • Bee (stung in head)
  • Wasp
  • Rough-skinned newt
  • Squirrel
  • Deer
  • Owl
  • Crow
  • Horse
  • Dog
  • Owl
  • Spider
  • Ladybug
  • Snail
  • Worm
  • Aunt
  • Blue Jay
  • Hummingbird
  • Robin
  • Woodpecker
  • Hawk
  • Saw Black Bear droppings (March 2020)
  • Mouse
  • Grouse
  • Rabbit


100% Removed:

  • Holly;
  • Daphne;
  • Blackberry;
  • Laurel;
  • Ivy;
  • Broom; and
  • Blue Bell.


Volunteer Clothing Consumed Costs:

  • Boots x 2;
  • Pants x 3;
  • T-shirt x 3;
  • Sock x 12;
  • Underwear x 3; and
  • Belt x 1.


Volunteer Additional Costs:

  • Car, fuel;
  • Car, vacuum;
  • Laundry Soap;
  • Scrub Brush;
  • Garbage Bags;
  • Rental, pin finder;
  • Purchase, 18” wire cutter;
  • Purchase replacement of tools.



The Ivy story that occurred at John Dean Provincial Park (1997-2009).


Quarry Park Revived 1 | North Saanich (April 2020)


Quarry Park Revived 2 | North Saanich (April 2020)




English Ivy (Hedera helix): Hedera is Latin for Ivy, helix is Latin for spiral


If there’s one continuous theme . . . it’s removing roots

The best time to remove ivy is when you have:

  • Inspiration;
  • Time;
  • Motivation; and
  • Energy.











Stage 1 is about locating park/property boundaries. Divide the park into ivy zones generally equal in size/effort/time. These zones generally fit between natural boundaries.


Photograph all zones. Create a folder for all images.


Write a mission statement. List the zones in priority. Although the end-state is to remove all ivy within the park, categorise each zone as:

1)      Essential

2)      Necessary

3)      Desirable


Work within different zones can start at different times. Work parties and individuals can work towards and complete specific stages within a zone.


Leaders commit to mission and attract volunteers and/or organize work parties.

Specific ivy zones are established.


Digital archive is established.


Goals are set. Mission statement is available.


The priority of planned work is understood.


Leadership is inspired and recognises the value of these words:

–          Committing

–          Commit

–          Committed

–          Commits

–          Commitment







Stage 2 is all about the zone safety and the preparation required prior to the arrival of a work party. Remove eye poking branches and sticks. Remove holly, laurel, blackberry and Daphne.


Remove branches and sharp debris from the work party start point.


Remove known garbage.


Server ivy vines on trees at 6’ above the ground, and dig out all surrounding roots. Ensure all roots are removed from the trees base.

Area is safe for the entry of new volunteers to work.


All other invasive plants are gone, which will direct the focus of the work party specifically on ivy.


Oblivious garbage is removed.


Ivy on trees dies, sunlight is increased, and future vegetation growth will increase.





Stage 3 is when the first-time major removal occurs, preferably by a work party. Teach volunteers to gently pull ivy slips from the ground. Attempt to remove as many roots (and sub-roots) as possible. Typically 90% of the ivy is removed.


Try to avoid damaging the larger natural vegetation. However scouring the ground is encouraged. The priority is ivy removal by the root, vegetation regrowth will occur (guarantied).


Remove garbage as it’s found.

90% of the ivy covering the ground has been removed.


Native vegetation begins to grow.


Area is almost garbage free.




Stage 4 is the most important stage, especially for committed Stewards.


Revisit the area one month after the first-time major removal.


Necessary tools:

–          Grub how; and

–          Plyers.


Remove the remaining ivy. Work in 3’ stretches, search under ferns, logs and rocks. Ensure all known ivy is removed. Remove all roots (all sizes) as discovered. Ensure all roots surrounding the trees have been properly removed.


To ensure all roots are removed, feel free to scour the ground. The priority is to remove all roots.


Remove garbage as it’s found.

Remaining Ivy is fully removed.


Roots are removed.


Zone is declared properly pulled / Stage 4 completed.


Native vegetation is growing.


Area is garbage free.




Stage 5 is a confirmation stage for each zone. It is specifically entrusted to Park Stewards.


Revisit the area several months after the one month follow-up (month 4-6). Start at one end of the zone, and extensively search back and forth in 3’ stretches. This is a methodical slow time evolution:

1)      Remove old ivy that was missed;

2)      Remove new ivy which has sprouted; and

3)      It’s important to remove every root as it’s discovered; this will ensure everything gets done. Use plyers as needed.

Ivy is confirmed removed.


Roots are confirmed removed.


The zone is declared properly searched, and Stage 5 is declared completed.






Stage 6 is the final confirmation/inspection stage for a particular zone. It includes many visits to each zone over a two year timeframe.


Revisit each zone twice every six months. Wear running shoes versus boots. Conduct ongoing searches for sprouting ivy. Technically remove all found ivy (by the root). Ensure all roots are correctly removed. Conduct exhaustive searches twice every six months as follows:

1)      Months 12-18 x 2

2)      Months 19-24 x 2

3)      Months 25-36 x 2

The last remaining ivy is removed.


Ivy doesn’t reappear.


Zone by zone is formally declared ivy-free. The future sustainment has begun.


The proper completion of Stage 6 means that the zone is completed.




Stage 7 is reserved for when all zones have achieved Stage 6. This is a commitment stage versus removal stage.


Park Stewards recommit to long-term monitoring/action.


Write the story, use pictures.


Host a celebration party.


Recruit and plan for succession.



Ivy doesn’t reappear. The park is declared ivy-free. The park is under long-time monitoring/action.


The successful result is documented and made public. The effort is celebrated.


Volunteers are acknowledged and thanked.


Key Stewards are inspired to own the title Ivy Free. Younger people are inspired to maintain the title Ivy Free, which should be declared every five years.


My 2009 Ivy Removal stages:

  • Stage 1, major pull, vines and roots;
  • Stage 2, surgical removal of roots completed;
  • Stage 3, confirmed surgical removal, area root secure;
  • Stage 4, extensive examination, declared ivy free;
  • Stage 5, exhaustive inspection & action, confirmed ivy free;
  • Stage 6, declared 100% ivy free; and
  • Stage 7, commitment to long-term monitoring & action.


Lessons worth passing on to others:

  • Divide the property into zones; label each zone as essential, required or desirable;
  • Prep areas prior to the initial ivy pull; remove all holly, blackberry, Daphne and sever ivy vines from the trees and remove the ivy roots;
  • When removing ivy, focus on and accomplish one square meter at a time;
  • Work where planed and/or follow your spirit;
  • Ensure ivy is fully removed from underneath logs and ferns;
  • Remove ivy roots as they are sighted;
  • Follow ivy stringers and ensure each vine is properly removed;
  • Revisit areas recently pulled and remove anything missed;
  • Revisit zones every three months, remove anything missed;
  • Continually revisit each area until ivy isn’t found; and
  • Enjoy owning the areas, zones and sub-zones.


Jarrett Teague

Quarry Park Steward, Friends of North Saanich Parks


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