An effort to rename the Marine Drive “hump” to something with more meaning has taken wing.
“We’re ready for it to be something else… to be appreciated for what it is,” said Barry Belec, explaining a suggestion to formally tag the mound in the 15200-block of Marine Drive ‘Eagle Hill’.
“Eagle Hill tells people a little more than ‘The Hump.'”
Belec is a White Rock resident who sits on the city’s Centre Street Road Allowance Improvements Task Force.
He said the mound of trees and shrubbery – including tall firs where bald eagles can often be seen perched or nesting – has been known as ‘The Hump’ for “years and years and years.”
But it is so much more than the colloquial moniker suggests, said Belec.
“Whenever you see images taken from West Beach, (they) always involve beautiful presentations of greenery on The Hump,” he said.
With an appropriate name, “it becomes something other than a blank unknown.”
The renaming recommendation was presented at the task force’s Sept. 17 meeting. Receiving unanimous support at that level, it came before council on Monday (Sept. 29) and was referred to staff for a report.
Belec was among a number of people to make the suggestion, many of whom had in mind last year’s toppling of four mature Douglas firs, he said.
The trees, located on city property and a popular roosting spot for bald eagles, were cut down in May 2013 in the interest of public safety, after a deal could not be reached with the owner of an abutting lot eyed for a single-family home.
The trees had significant roots extending into the property which were to be cut during excavation to the point the trees would be rendered unstable.
The renaming recommendation includes a call for signage identifying the site as Eagle Hill, and pointing residents and tourists alike in the right direction.
“There’s some feeling that when we do Centre Street, it would be nice to point people down the hill, as opposed to just saying ‘The Hump,'” said task force chair Coun. Helen Fathers.
“We just want to give it a better description.”
Belec hopes city officials will see fit to extend the idea to other “places of distinction that define neighbourhoods.”