Friends Picnic, May 21, 1988

By year four, the Friends of John Dean Park had many endeavours underway:

          Old garbage: removals from road, summit, and viewpoints;

          Fire pit in the picnic site: request for removal;

          Night Gate: request for installation;

          Parking lot kiosk and park map: request for installation;

          Radar towers: request for removal of construction debris;

          Coast Guard Radar Tower: request for reduction of noise emitted;

          Water Reservoir threat: prevent construction in park;

          Park transfer threat: prevent proposed transfer to CRD;

          West side land addition: add 66.9 acres, from Alec Road eastward;

          Broom and ivy removal were on the horizon;

          Old trails: signs of neglect were repaired/replaced; and

          New trails, initial builds were underway:

1)      East side, Barret Montfort Trail, Sep 87 to Jan 88

2)      South side, Woodward Trail, Feb to May 88

3)      West side, Merrill Harrop Trail, Feb to May 88


Publicity and momentum enabled the Friends membership to soar to over 340 members, and amazingly a pamphlet hadn’t yet been created. In March 1988, Sally and Neil Stewart produced an all-encompassing letter-size handout, which included a map showing the three new trails, park time-line, ways to help, and contact info; 2000 copies were printed.

Next, to inspire the use of the new trails, and to welcome everyone to a now managed John Dean Park, a Friends Picnic was planned for May 21st. A legal size brochure with a park map was produced; 300 copies were printed. Additionally two dozen 11×17” maps were printed for the picnic.

Thirty years ago, on Sunday, May 21, 1988, at 11am, over 50 persons of all ages gathered in the old-growth valley picnic site. It was a lovely sunny day, +24, and everyone relished the valley atmosphere. Edo Nyland, who co-founded the Friends, welcomed and introduced everyone. Adelaide Pickles and her son Norman were present when the Pickles’ Bluff sign was unveiled. MLA, Terry Huberts unveiled the Woodward Trail sign; and Daryl Drew and Merrill Harrop unveiled the Merrill Harrop Trail sign. Then Edo presented MLA, Dr. Terry Huberts the west-side land addition petition. Edo said: “It gives us great pleasure to hand to you our petition containing 4,351 names.” After unveiling the signs and speeches, a classic wiener roast and lunch commenced.

Afterwards, families packed up and further visited in the parking lot. Everyone headed home with many copies of the new brochure and map. Almost certainly, they returned and experienced the new trails. It was a great day at John Dean Park!

I joined the Friends at the end of August of 1988. In March 1989, the building of trail #4, the north side Slektain Trail was approved. The initial blazing occurred that spring, and by June I became a primary trail builder. Next year is the 30th anniversary of the Slektain Trail, but that’s another story…


more trail building history:





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