Tree planting happening soon at Rollo McClay

Autumn is an ideal time to plant trees, which is just what the Regional District of Nanaimo will be doing soon on Gabriola.

The RDN will be planting the trees meant to offset those taken down at Huxley Community Park in order to make room for the recently completed skatepark and other recreational additions. RDN staff say 400 Douglas fir trees will be planted at the 7.8-hectare Rollo McClay Park in November. As part of the Gabriola Local Trust Committee’s 2019 approval of RDN-requested variances to build the skatepark, the LTC required the regional district to plant new trees in other community parks on the island.

The arborist report included in the tender documents to build the skatepark recommended removing 104 trees from Huxley Park, mostly Douglas fir and some Western red cedar. A total of 100 trees were taken down at Huxley before skatepark construction began, RDN staff confirmed. Permit approval from the LTC stipulated new trees needed to be planted on other parkland at a four-to-one ratio to buffer against survival rates.

Staff confirmed volunteers from Gabriola Land and Trails Trust as well as the Gabriola skatepark community will help plant the trees at Rollo McClay on Nov. 20.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder