Indifference; what is the value or worth?


ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park

2021 exceptionalism has made the park broom-free. The result is the way ahead for new volunteers has been eased (fresh starts).

  • 11 of 11 broom zones are mint;
  • End-2021 the broom zones were totally cleared;
  • 55 hrs per year is required to maintain the achievement. All meadows are maintained at minus 6”; if anything is missed it’s caught soon after. By October 2021, every sprout had been removed; and
  • BC Parks or myself as a private citizen do not ask a minimum amount of time or effort. Anything people give, no matter how big or small is appreciated.


This story is posted for future volunteers. The below tables describe the time and commitment required to maintain and sustain the achievement.



1 Airport Radar Tower Flagship Presentation Priority 1, Internal
2 Upper Thomson Cabin Trail Special Place Priority 1, Internal
3 Coast Guard Radar Tower Flagship Presentation Priority 1, Internal
4 Pickles’ Bluff Flagship Presentation Priority 1, Internal
5 ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Trail Flagship Presentation Priority 1, Internal
6 Woodward Trail Flagship Presentation Priority 1, Internal
7 Surveyors Trail Trail-side Viewpoint Priority 2, Boundary
8 West Viewpoint Trail-side Viewpoint Priority 2, Boundary
9 West Block Special Place Priority 1, Internal
10 Entrance Road Special Place Priority 1, Internal
11 Upper Gail Wickens’ Trail Special Place Priority 2, Boundary


The seedbank is now largely exhausted. Each year fewer hours are needed to secure each zone. Noteworthy, few parks within the region have received such a long-time commitment towards the complete removal of broom.

It’s now my great hope that a person or family adopt each zone. If you have a favorite spot, you love and would like to care for, contact Jarrett @ // 250-642-3031 for volunteer info:






Airport Radar Tower:

a)       West side of road, main

b)      East side of road

Flagship Presentation


1995, initial removal


Major removals occurred


2011, Jarrett adopted the meadow; seed bank almost, requires monthly attention


2021, the entire zone is broom-free

99% done


Maintained bi-annually


Adjacent broom within MOT compound; unreliably cut


Removal actions required, 30min per month / 6hrs annually






Upper Thomson Cabin Trail:

a)       Center east of slope

b)      Base of slope

c)       Lower shelf

Flagship Presentation


1996, initial removal, Jarrett adopted the meadow


Seedbank almost exhausted


End-2021, the entire zone is broom-free

99% done


Maintained bi-annually


Removal actions required, 15min per month / 4hrs annually





Coast Guard Radar Tower:

a)       East of entrance road

b)      South metal fence line

c)       Lower-middle treeline

d)      North at wood fence

Flagship Presentation


1991, initial major removals occurred


1997, Jarrett adopted


End-2021, the entire zone is broom-free

99% done


Maintained bi-annually


Seed bank almost exhausted


Requires 15min per month / 4hrs annually





Pickles’ Bluff:

a)       Bluff, center area

b)      Bluff, lower south end

c)       Bluff, lower north end

d)      Bluff, far north side

e)      Meadow south of steps

f)        Meadow far south of steps

g)       Meadow north of steps


Flagship Presentation


1991, initial removal


1992-98, Major removals occurred


Seed bank is near exhausted


End-2021, the entire zone is broom-free

99% done


Maintained quarterly


Requires 30min per month / 6hrs annually







a)       Fern Dell Trailhead

b)      West of trail, upper area

c)       East of trail, along ridge

d)      East of trial, middle slope

e)      East of trail, lower S area

f)        East of trail, lower SE area

g)       Northward towards the bluff


Flagship Presentation


1993, initial removal


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


2008, seed bank exhausted


2009-current, maintained at -11”


End-2021, the entire zone is broom-free

99% done


Maintained quarterly


Requires 8-10hrs annually





Woodward Trail:

a)       Triangle Junction meadow

b)      Triangle Junction, area below and SW

c)       Ridge below Woodward

d)      Lower SE Gary oak Meadow

e)      Ridge above Woodward

Flagship Presentation


1993, initial removal


1999, Seed bank exhausted


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


End-2021, the entire zone is broom-free

99% done


Maintained quarterly


Requires 30min per month / 8hrs annually






Surveyors Trail:

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, north meadows


Trail-side Viewpoint


1992, initial removals


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


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


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


This is the 6th year of total removal. End-2021, the entire zone is broom-free

2015, 99% removed


Maintained quarterly


Requires 30min per month / 15hrs 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; committed to long-term monthly removals


End-2021, the entire zone is broom-free

2015, 99% removed


Forest broom within sight has been removed


Maintained bi-annually


Requires 15min per month / 5hrs annually








West Block:

a)       Upper, above relocation

b)      Lower, above the multiple drainage channels

c)       Central meadow

d)      Arbutus Ridge slope, west

e)      Arbutus Ridge slope, east

Special Place


1996, initial removal


Inconstant removals occurred


2011, seed bank exhausted


End-2021, the entire zone is broom-free

99% done


Maintained bi-annually


Requires 4hrs annually





Entrance Road:

a)       Upper Slektain Meadow

b)      Meadow below road corner

c)       Meadow above fire hydrant

d)      High ridge above road

e)      Cliffs above road

f)        Meadows above Montfort Trail West

Special Place


1993, initial removal


maintained at -11”


2021, the entire zone is broom-free

99% done


Maintained bi-annually


Requires 15min per month / 5hrs annually





Upper Gail Wickens’ Trail:

a)       South trailhead of Barret Montfort Trail East

b)      Former viewpoint

c)       Haldon Park, center meadow, includes Daphne (3hrs)

d)      Haldon Park, Daphne (3hrs)

Special Place


2002, initial removal, inconsistent removals occurred


2006, last seeded; Jarrett adopted the zone. Two broom seeded in 2020.


End-2021, the entire zone is broom-free

99% done


Maintained bi-annually


Adjacent broom on private properties


Removal actions required, 15min per month / 6hrs annually



  • In 1991, Jarrett and a committed group of six Friends started to remove the major broom throughout the park. The initial removal of the big broom (2” girth) took six years of hard work. By 1998, the large seed producing broom was gone, and the meadows were growing a continual lawn of baby broom. By 2002, the broom growth slowed and thinned, but continued. Only Bryce Kendrick and Jarrett Teague continued to steadfastly remove broom;
  • Broom produces seeds during its third year, those seeds can remain in the ground for 25+ years, and therefor it is essential that all broom be removed immediately to hedge against the 35mth deadline. For example, if a meadow is cleared of 12mth broom, the 36mth regrowth countdown is reset;
  • Jarrett is working towards establishing a multi-volunteer Broom Succession Plan;
  • For end-2021, all broom, including the tiny sprouts have been removed. Today, a new volunteer will inherit a zero deficit workload, and can ease into finding the new growth, and easily remove new baby broom; and
  • Interested in a favorite spot? Contact Jarrett @ , 250-642-3031



Jarrett’s 2015 thinking


7 no concern 49mth / +31” seed generating abandonment
6 failure 48mth / +30” seed generating rejection of duty
5 setback 36-47mth / 24-29” seed producing negligence of duty
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




Jarrett’s 2017 thinking



I don’t know


Park visitor


Visits the park for a great park experience.

Likely doesn’t want to know about and/or hear about broom, or support those who are involved.


I don’t know


Level: 1

Park visitor who cares about the park.

Who may have a vague awareness of broom, but does not understand its scope or what they need to learn.


I know


Level: 2

Park regular who can describe the broom situation, and can remove some broom with support.

They understand what they need to learn to personally progress.


I can


Level: 3

Park regular who regularly removes broom with little to no support.

They reflexively remove broom without necessarily thinking through it step by step.


I am


Level: 4

Park reliable who persistently removes broom without any support.

They instinctively seek and remove broom throughout the park, step by step.


I guarantee


Level: 5

Park steward who has committed that she/he will remove broom prior to 18mths/18” growth, to methodically ensure all broom is removed from the parks 11 broom zones.

Does not require support; does not require thanks; maintains the Master Broom Register; and ensures all work is done each year.




Level: 6

Invasive Broom Remover in their 10th + year; deserving of official acknowledgement from BC Parks.


Has searched and removed extensively. The words value and worth are explored in the speech at your recognition dinner.





  • Set mission statement: “ensure the park remains broom-free (under 11mths growth)”;
  • Assign each meadow to a person or family who commits;
  • Leadership monitors and updates the parks “Broom Register” quarterly (11 zones);
  • The best time to surge on broom is October to December; conduct double checks January to February; avoid flower areas March to June; 30min monthly per zone is crucial;
  • To operate whereby less work is required from future volunteers;
  • Should Jarrett die and/or be medically unable to continue, the Friends of John Dean Park and BC Parks will need to quickly react and immediately hire a hardcore induvial who will assure the continued result. At $25hr x 60, the minimum cost annually will be $1,500;
  • If the meadows are not attended to properly every six months, within 3yrs a tremendous setback will occur. Who owns that nightmare will be the people alive; and
  • As of this writing, I need to have faith this accomplishment will be continued.


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



Awareness – Interest – Time – Vigor – 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
  • orchestrates a succession plan.


Menetiye on CBC

Beaches and Mountains, 16:00 – 23:00

Wonderfully shares and explains:

  • Saanich / W̱SÁNEĆ
  • Mount Newton / ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱
  • Ancient stories
  • How the mountain received its name
  • 13 moons and teaching through songs
  • The relationship to the homeland

Beaches and Mountains | Live Radio | CBC Listen

me-si’-ka Illahie

Today (2 Aug 21) on CBC’s the Early Edition, a panel discussed renaming British Columbia.

Me-si’-ka Illahie (Our land) or Illahie Chuck (Land and Water)


An excerpt from the parks 100th book, John Dean 21:


Today at Ƚ/JDP, the Chinook name Illahie is prominently featured at John Dean’s Cabin Site.

April 22, 1884 was the day John Dean (age 33) first arrived in Victoria. Much of Victoria’s population was still devoted to the British Empire at this time. Only 41 years earlier (1843) Fort Victoria was founded; 35 years earlier (1849) the Colony of Vancouver Island was created; 26 years earlier (1858) the two Crown Colonies were joined together; and 13 years earlier (1871) the Crown Colony of British Columbia joined Canada. Victoria was a growing city which had many economic and cultural opportunities.

John Dean, a Victoria pioneer would have been keenly aware of Chinook, a widely-used Indigenous trading language. This unique language originated along the Columbia River during the early 1810s, as easily-spoken words of Indigenous languages were mixed with English fishing words and French farming words to create this grassroots trading jargon. It soon evolved into a distinct Pacific Northwest language, and over the decades more than a quarter of a million people spoke this language as part of their everyday life. Had Chinook survived, it may have evolved into a permanent regional language which might have helped achieve the modern-day concept of reconciliation through sharing beliefs, traditions and philosophies. Chinook could have laid the course for an Indigenous syncretic culture. I believe if the Pacific Northwest had become its own country, a cross-cultural identity and lifestyle would have emerged and prospered.

On July 23, 1910, John Dean (age 59), who was still connected with the pioneer era of Victoria and the synergy of Chinook, named his secluded mountain top cabin Illahie, which means country, land, earth and soil in Chinook. He selected this name to identify the property as a Country Home. Clearly John Dean chose to use and respect the Indigenous trading language Chinook, which would have meaning to all Indigenous traders of the time. Today, the only remains of this language are honoured in unique place names and memorials.

John Dean honoured the name Illahie by carving a sign and installing it next to the door of his first cabin. In 1918, when the surrounding fence and entrance gates were erected, Dean installed carved signs above the three entrance gates. The name became more prominent in 1921 when John Dean donated 80 of his 100 acres for a park, and the new survey maps identified his remaining 20-acre property as Illahie.

After John Dean sold the 20-acre property to the syndicate of friends in July 1939 (age 88), the surrounding fence and signs were removed, and the name nearly disappeared. However the name did survive through survey maps, within Dean’s diaries, and five known photographs of the south side entrance gate.

For the parks 75th anniversary in 1996, the narrow ivy-laden path which provided a loop around John Dean’s cabin was named Illahie Loop Trail. Today after much stewardship, the entire area is ivy-free, and the cabin site name reminds us of earlier times.

ILLAHIE, Pronunciation and definition – YouTube


Renaming BC Panel | The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn | Live Radio | CBC Listen




The centennial of ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ / John Dean

1st Donated BC Park

Established: December 9, 1921 | 2021 Centennial

Contact Jarrett for a complementary copy

PDF or Epub

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

Updated 31 Oct 21:
Trail Closures for Wildfire Fuel Treatment November 1 – December 3, 2021

For the safety of visitors, sections of the Barrett Monfort Trail will be closed near the east boundary of the park, limiting travel. BC Wildfire Service is conducting tree falling, and controlled pile burning will take place.

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




Log in | all content © Jarrett Thomas Teague 2021 | site design by