The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is responsible for the planning, acquisition and development of community parks on Denman Island. To ensure community parks meet the needs of Denman Island residents, the CVRD initiated a planning process in 2010, soliciting input from residents on a long-term vision and priorities for new parks and greenways on Denman Island.

This input helped shape the creation of the Denman Island Parks and Greenways Master Plan.

View the View the Denman Island Parks and Greenways Master Plan

Denman Island Parks and Greenway Priorities

Based on the public consultations, most Denman Islanders wanted to see the CVRD focus its efforts on recreational greenways, with the highest priority accorded to a ferry-to-ferry multi-use trail. The following priorities were developed through the public consultation process for the Denman Island Parks and Greenways Master Plan.

  1.  A cross-island ferry-to-ferry multi-use trail or recreational greenway
  2.  A north-south multi-use trail/recreational greenway
  3.  Connections between existing public trails and recreational greenways
  4.  Proposed trails to the waterfront or viewpoints off high-bank waterfront road ends within undeveloped road rights-of-way
  5.  A public washroom at Graham Lake
  6.  Improved public access to nature parks and reserves
  7.  Wildlife and biodiversity corridors or ecological greenways
  8.  A parks and trails map
  9.  Appropriate signage
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the purpose of the plan?

The Denman parks and greenways master plan identifies all existing parks, greenways, nature reserves and developed and undeveloped beach access road ends on Denman Island. Most importantly, it identifies priorities for future parks and greenways that will guide the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) in parkland acquisition and park and trail development on the island.

The plan will also assist the CVRD, BC Parks, the Islands Trust Fund, conservancies, land trusts and other organizations that manage parks and greenways on the island to identify how they can complement each other’s land holdings to build the island’s network of parks and greenways.

How does the parks and greenways plan relate to the Denman Island Official Community Plan?

The CVRD worked with the Islands Trust to include the map of proposed parks and greenways priorities as schedule G to the Island Trust’s Official Community Plan (OCP). This ensures identified priorities are integrated with island planning and development initiatives. The Denman OCP amendment bylaw 199 can be found on the Islands Trust website.

What are the priorities the Denman Island parks and greenways system?

The following priorities were developed through the public consultation process for the Denman parks and greenways master plan. See the conceptual parks plan map in appendix 1 of the plan for conceptual locations of the first five priorities. Specific locations will be determined in cooperation with residents at the time of trail planning.

  1. A cross-island ferry-to-ferry multi-use trail or recreational greenway.
  2. A north-south multi-use trail/recreational greenway.
  3. Connections between existing public trails/recreational greenways.
  4. Proposed trails to the waterfront or viewpoints off high bank waterfront road ends within undeveloped road rights-of-way.
  5. Public washroom at Graham Lake.
  6. Improved public access to nature parks and reserves.
  7. Wildlife and biodiversity corridors or ecological greenways.
  8. A parks and trails map.
  9. Appropriate signage.

The CVRD would play a supporting and advocacy role in the implementation of priorities 6 and 7 with the Islands Trust Fund and Denman conservation organizations taking the lead. Priority 8 will require close Page 2 Comox Valley Regional District cooperation with the Denman Island community to determine what should be included on the map and who the audience would be.

How were the priorities for new parks and greenways established?

The priorities are based on input received from Denman residents during public consultations. Consultations included a four page community survey inserted into the May 13, 2010 issue of the Island Grapevine, meetings and discussions with local committees and stakeholders, a first public open house in June 2010 and a second one in November 2010. In addition, the CVRD exchanged information with other agencies that own or manage protected areas on Denman Island, such as the Islands Trust Fund, the Denman Conservancy Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada and B.C. Parks, throughout the planning process.

Did my input and that of other Denman residents make a difference?

Input received from residents through the community survey and at the public open houses is reflected in the final plan. Public feedback resulted in adoption of the vision and the list of priority areas.

Thirty-nine residents responded to the community survey. This represents a return rate of 7.4% (direct marketing companies consider a 10% return an excellent response.) The community survey asked residents what parks and trails they currently use on Denman Island, how satisfied they are with the number of parks and trails on Denman Island, what kind of recreational opportunities they would like to see more of, and what additions they would like to see to the parks and trails system. The answers to these questions informed the first map and list of priorities for future parks and greenways that was then presented to the public for feedback at the first public open house held on June 23, 2010.

A second open house was held on November 24, 2010. A questionnaire was available at this open house and on the CVRD’s website for those wishing to respond. A total of 44 people attended the meeting. Fiftyfour responses to the open house questionnaire were received. The general response to the draft plan received at the November open house was supportive.

The draft plan’s vision statement sounded reasonable to most (42 of the 54 respondents), although some suggested variations such as adding hunting, either deleting the word “passive” or changing it to “pedestrian” or perhaps to “non-motorized”.

The draft goals were supported by the majority of respondents (46), at the same time, emphasizing the need for consultation and community involvement in setting priorities.

Forty-one out of 51 who responded to the question as to priorities for parks and greenways supported a ferry to ferry multi-use trail as the first priority. Some respondents pointed out that while biodiversity and wildlife corridors and conservation are very important, these areas fall under the jurisdiction of the Islands Trust and other organizations. Rather than a ferry-to-ferry trail, the number one priority for some (7) respondents would be a north-south multi-use trail. For others (4 each), it would be connections between existing trails or public washrooms. If some of the provincial lands are designated as nature parks, a couple of respondents would make public access to these their first priority; another couple would move beach access from priority number 4 to number 1.

Other suggested changes in the priority list included the following candidates for priority number 2: connections between existing trails (10); public washrooms (4); public access to reserves and nature parks (4); access to waterfront (3); and signage (2).

Third priority was given by others to a parks and trails map (9) and to beach accesses (9); public washrooms (5); public access to nature parks and reserves (4) and signage (3).

The suggested implementation strategies were generally seen as practical (40) – with the exception of working with the Islands Trust Fund and using the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption program. These were viewed as separate and different from a parks and greenways plan.

A number of open house attendees and respondents suggested that if the CVRD were to focus its time, energy and some funds on improving the trails network, this would meet with the approval of a significant portion of Denman Island residents. Respondents wanted to see attention focused on existing trails and on providing connectivity for non-motorized uses. 

How much am I currently contributing to regional district parks on Denman Island?

Denman and Hornby islands have a joint community parks service. The 2011 approved tax requisition for the Denman and Hornby islands is $17.53 per $100,000 of assessed property value. This raises a total of $150,000 for the planning, management, operation, capital projects and acquisition of Hornby and Denman island community parks.

The total budget for parkland capital improvements on Denman Island for the next five years is $94,000. The majority of the funds budgeted are dedicated to the design and construction of stairs down Komas bluffs to the foreshore fronting Morning Beach park.

How much does it cost to implement priority 1, the multi-use ferry to ferry trail?

The first priority identified by island residents and captured in the final draft plan is recreational greenways, in particular a ferry to ferry trail. Implementation of such a trail will require land acquisition in a few strategic locations; however, it is anticipated that, for the most part, the proposed trail can be located within existing road rights-of-way alongside ferry to ferry roadways. The largest expenses are capital costs related to trail construction.

Costs are estimated at $50,000 for surveying, trail alignment and clearing. Trail construction for a two metre wide, packed gravel trail is estimated at $100 to $150 per metre-length of trail or $1.1 to $1.65 million for the length of trail following either Denman and East roads or Lacon and McFarlane roads to connect the two ferry terminals.

How will the regional district raise money to construct the ferry to ferry trail?

In order to fund the design and construction of a ferry to ferry trail, the CVRD will have to phase the project over a number of years and either fundraise for the trail, seek senior government grants or increase the annual tax requisition for community parks on Denman Island or a combination of those approaches. Page 4 Comox Valley Regional District.

An increase in the tax requisition is not recommended at this time; instead, CVRD staff will seek participation from the community in determining possible routes and trail alignment and apply for senior government grants to fund a first phase of the trail.