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Part of Hackett Park closed

Part of Hackett Park closed

Effective Sept 24, a section of Sechelt’s Hackett Park adjacent to Trail Avenue will be closed to the public. The closure is to continue into December, 2020.
The lower portion of the park will be off limits while it is used for archaeological screening of soil removed during the municipality’s Trail Avenue construction project. Plans are to keep the park’s playground, tennis courts, washrooms, trails, and playing fields open and accessible.
While the area is closed to the public, Sechelt also hopes to complete the archaeological assessment work needed to move forward on an outdoor stage project in the park.
Once work on these projects is complete, the soil from the road work will be spread throughout the treeless sections of the park. Grass will be replanted in the impacted areas.
In a press release about the work, Sanath Bandara, Sechelt’s engineering manager, stated, “Whenever we dig a hole in Sechelt, we consult with archaeologists to screen the soil to ensure we are not disturbing important artifacts. There was a lot of soil removed during the Trail Avenue improvements, and the parks department is working with us to ensure this important work is completed off-site so the road can remain open. Under provincial regulations, the Archaeological Permit requires any excavated materials be retained close to the archaeological areas. In this case, the archaeological area is centered on Hackett Park.”
Most of downtown Sechelt has been designated as an archeologically sensitive site by the Province. All archaeological sites in B.C. are protected under the Heritage Conservation Act. This applies whether sites are located on public or private land, and whether the site is known or unknown. Protected archaeological sites may not be altered or changed without a permit. Sites can be impacted by landscaping, renovations, building, infrastructure upgrades or development, or natural resource extraction.
The $6.058 million Trail Avenue upgrade and realignment project was funded through Sechelt’s Development Cost Charges and reserve funds.
In mid-July, the municipality announced a $253,000 outdoor stage project for the park was awarded a $185,500 grant from the federal/provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The remainder of the money will come from Sechelt’s capital reserves. Construction of that amenity, which is currently planned for the park area next Trail Avenue and Medusa Street, is anticipated to start in 2021.

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