Volunteers from the Rotary Club of North Delta rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty this fall helping build a new park under the BC Hydro towers along Westview Drive.
After exploring several project ideas, the club’s Rotary Club Action Team — in consultation with the City of Delta and local community groups — decided to develop an ecological park for children of all ages. The team’s plan was approved by the City of Delta and BC Hydro over the summer, and construction of the park at the western edge of the Huff Hydro Park Reserve began last month.
Rotarian Susan Gage, a local “master gardener” who was involved in the park’s design, said in a press release that once complete the park will feature a drought-resistant eco-lawn and a trail with interpretative signage that winds around several gardens with environmental and Indigenous themes, including an ecological discovery garden for children to learn about the region’s native plants, a rain garden, a pollinator meadow and a fairy garden.
Club volunteers were hard at work over three Saturdays in October realizing the club’s vision for the park.
On Oct. 1, after the city had removed the sod, Rotarians clad in long-sleeved shirts, thick pants and heavy gloves cut back the blackberry bushes along the edges of the park and around a large glacial erratic boulder. Other large rocks and boulders were removed from the planting area in backbreaking work, leaving the garden ready for organic soil.
After two weeks of rest and recovery, the Rotarians were back on site Oct. 15 to haul dozens of wheelbarrow loads of soil (21 cubic yards in all) up from the road and spread it in the planting area. A group of volunteers helped with the work, including a couple of nearby residents — one with a strong back and another with a stronger tractor.
The big day was the following Saturday (Oct. 22), when Rotary volunteers and members of the community — which included several young athletes — planted over 250 plants in the field using wheelbarrows, gloves, shovels, rakes and trowels. The plants were chosen to attract “beneficials” such as insects and birds to the area.
Development of the fairy garden and associated signage will begin in the spring.
For more information on the Rotary Club of North Delta head to portal.clubrunner.ca/1355/sitepage/join-north-delta-rotary/welcome or visit the club’s Facebook page (@RotaryClubOfNorthDelta).