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Quadra Island disc golf, bike park supported by Strathcona Regional District

Bike park funding awarded before receiving SRD consent, approved in principle to keep process moving
Two projects for Blenkin Memorial Park on Quadra Island are on their way. Photo courtesy Google Streetview

Two new recreation opportunities are on deck for Quadra Island, as the Strathcona Regional District approved plans for a new disc golf course and approved, in principle, a plan to develop a new bike park on the island.

The disc golf course is slated for Blenkin Memorial Park. According to a SRD staff report, there will be nine holes, located around the baseball fields, as well as a few in the forested area behind the Quadra Island Community Centre. According to an email included in the staff report, the project uses a kind of hole called a “tonal” instead the more expensive chain baskets like those in the Campbell River disc golf course. Tonals are designed to ring out when hit by a disc, and can be made from things like old propane tanks.

“It’s great to have the community come forward and put this forward,” said Quadra Island Director Jim Abram at the Electoral Area Services Committee (EASC) meeting, where the project was discussed earlier in the month. “It’s another recreation opportunity on Quadra Island.”

Another proposal from QIRS was up for discussion at the April 27 meeting, this time for a new bike park also at Blenkin Memorial Park. This time, the motion proposed to the board was to conditionally approve the project in principle, and to withhold endorsement of the project “until such time as a report identifying implications for the Regional District can be considered by the Director and the EASC.” The issue was that QIRS applied for and received a $180,000 grant for the project from the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program before getting SRD consent.

When Campbell River director Charlie Cornfield asked about approving the project in principle, Quadra Island director Jim Abram explained that QIRS had gotten the funds, but “needed an endorsement or it’d go away.”

“It is one of the main projects on Quadra Island that is totally involving the community, the biking community and the school groups,” Abram said. “I was trying to be cautious, but at the same time deliver a message that we are in favour of doing this.”

“What if the board doesn’t approve it?” Cornfield said. “Then there’s a whole lot of time and effort that makes it feel like ‘well they were successful in getting the grant, so you have to approve it.’”

Directors and staff were also concerned about the inclusion of the word “director.” Chief administrative officer David Leitch said that it involved the director in the discussions before the project went to EASC, which was against principles set up by the board. Cortes Island director Noba Anderson agreed, and moved the motion without the word ‘director.’

Abram said that his intentions were to ensure he knew as much about the project as possible before approving it.

“All of those financial matters come back to me at budgeting time,” he said. “It’s good if I can actually see first hand what is being proposed, and whether it is overkill or not.”

However, the motion passed to conditionally approve the project in principle, albeit without the specific inclusion of the director.

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