Sidney, BC; The Town of Sidney is proceeding with the Tulista Park Sidewalk Improvement project beginning in mid-June. Town staff will carry out the work on the sidewalk path that runs parallel to Lochside Drive and includes widening the walkway and the removal and replacement of five poplar trees. The project will commence in June and half of the $200,000 budget comes from the Federal Gas Tax / Canada Community-Building Fund.
Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith states; “the Tulista Park recreation area has become a highly popular destination for families and individuals using the various amenities. These include the skatepark, children’s playground, beach volleyball courts, Tulista Art Gallery, picnic area, as well the waterfront walkway and boat launch. Improvements to this well-used sidewalk will make it easier and safer for individuals, families, and people using mobility aids”.
Improvements to the Tulista Park sidewalk have been in the Town’s financial plan and are due to tree roots heaving and causing unevenness, as well as sidewalk closures due to flooding after heavy rains. The sidewalk is also not wide enough to accommodate the existing multimodal use for such a busy walkway.
The project includes installing drainage improvements to remedy the frequent flooding and widening the sidewalk from its current width of 1.5 m to 2.5 m wide. This will require the removal and replacement of five mature poplar trees on the east side of the pathway. The invasive root system of these poplar trees has resulted in sidewalk heaving, and this particular variety of poplar is columnar so they do not provide a significant amount of tree canopy.
The poplar trees will be replaced with seven or eight London Plane trees, which have a less intrusive root system, a very long lifespan and a much broader canopy. The larger canopy allows them to be planted further away from the sidewalk while still providing shade to path users at maturity. The broader canopy will also help increase the Town's overall tree canopy.
The poplar trees on the west side of the path will be replaced with London Plane trees as required, and as they near the end of their life, to eventually create a harmonious path lined with London Plane trees.
Upon completion, and into the future, the sidewalk improvements at Tulista Park will reduce ongoing maintenance costs, will enhance the user experience and help beautify this popular recreation area in Sidney.