New Signage in Seal Bay Nature Park
During completion of the 2019 Seal Bay Nature Park and Forest Management Plan park users indicated improving directional signage as a top priority. Recognizing that Seal Bay Park lies within K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) traditional territory the CVRD and KFN worked in partnership to plan signage improvements and enhance the overall park visitor experience while promoting understanding of the cultural heritage and values within the park.
Seal Bay Park (referred to as ‘Xwee Xwhya Luq’ by KFN) contains cultural and natural values that are important to the K’ómoks First Nation. First Nations people traditionally visited the Seal Bay area for resource harvesting and to camp when traveling through the area by canoe.
The new signage reflects a variety of natural park elements, animals and cultural references with emphasis on the traditional ayajuthem language. Ayajuthem is a Coast Salish language shared between the peoples of K’ómoks, Tla'amin, Homalco and Klahoose. In 2019, the United Nations observance is the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The observance aims to raise awareness about indigenous languages with the aim to establish a link between language, development, peace and reconciliation. Trails throughout Seal Bay Park have been renamed taking into account the rich cultural heritage of the K’ómoks First Nation. A couple of examples of the new trail names include Salal Berry Place/t'akay (pronounced Tuh-kie) and Huckleberry/t̓uxʷʊm (pronounced Toe-kwum). To help park visitors learn and pronounce the Coast Salish names, signs feature phonetic pronunciations.
Seal Bay Signage Event: Councillor Katherine Frank, Councillor Richard Hardy, CVRD Board Chair Jesse Ketler, Chief Nicole Rempel
The new signage uses designated colours to assist park users with navigation and to indicate where they can ride bikes or horses in addition to hiking. The signs are designed to blend in within the natural environment, be aesthetically pleasing, and unobtrusive. The overall concept was to create a signage plan that improves navigation within the park in order to create a safe place for visitors, residents and families to enjoy.
From May 1 - May 31, 2021 the CVRD conducted a public engagement asking for feedback on the new design of the signs used in Seal Bay Nature Park. The goal of the new directional park signage is to increase trail safety within the park and incorporate the ayajuthem language. Ayajuthem is a Coast Salish language shared between the peoples of K’ómoks, Tla'amin, Homalco and Klahoose.
The public engagement sought feedback on the following elements of the design:
- Size and legibility of the signs
- Size and clarity of icons
- Visibility and clarity of trails and trail use on maps
- Clarity of park rules.
214 responses to the survey were collected and analyzed. Many of the responses included suggested improvements the CVRD is looking at incorporating. Changes that will be coming to signage moving forward include:
- Increased icon sizes
- Increased arrow sizes
- Running loop signage within future parks where appropriate
- Adjusting design of the smaller feature signs
Sign examples shown below.
The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and the K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) are pleased to announce that the new directional signage being installed at Seal Bay Nature Park.