New Signage Coming to Seal Bay Park this Spring
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.
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.
Signs will be similar to the example shown below which are being produced now with installation throughout the park this spring.