Community, City working together to restore Colliery Dam Park


Members of the community are joining the City to restore areas of Colliery Dam Park. Through a number of activities including planting native vegetation around the spillway project area and removing invasive plants throughout the park, the goal is to improve the park's natural diversity.

The restoration planting for the spillway project features native understory plants and trees of various heights and is intended to blend into the surrounding forests. A temporary irrigation system will be installed to help the plants establish. Parks staff will also be spraying an organic “tea” mixture throughout the summer that is designed to improve soil health and fertility. Interpretive signage about the plants and special features in Colliery Dam Park will be added at a later date.

Ongoing partnerships between Nanaimo Parks and the community to remove invasive plants in the park and restore other portions of the park are expected to continue into the future.

Strategic Link: Environmental responsibility; Taking responsibility to be an excellent municipal government; Community building partnerships; Asset Management

Key Points

  • City staff, community volunteers and landscaping subcontractor, Acer Landscaping, are restoring areas in Colliery Dams Park.
  • A temporary irrigation system is being installed for the spillway planting area and native vegetation is being planted to enhance the biodiversity in the park. Initially, the plants will need water to establish well, but since the plants are native, they will be weaned off irrigation long term.
  • Many park improvement projects involving community partnerships are carried out through the Partners in Parks (PIP) program. More information on this program can be found on the City website.
  • The Girl Guides of Canada along with City staff are having a planting day in Colliery Dam Park on Saturday, June 11 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. The work is being carried out at a park trailhead thanks to a grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Tree Canada.


"It's great to see so many members of the community coming together to restore the natural features of Colliery Dam Park. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of these efforts."

Parks and Open Space Planner
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • Native soils have been retained throughout spillway construction and reused in the restoration work to promote a healthy soil system.
  • Seeds were removed from trees felled from the spillway project. From the seeds, 500 Douglas fir seedlings and 200 Western Red Cedar seedlings have been raised. The seedlings will be planted in the park in 2017.
  • Many of the trees cleared from the spillway construction were given to the Snuneymuxw First Nation for ceremonial purposes and others were left for park use such as in the landscaping and for benches.
  • Many tree branches and stumps removed from the site for the spillway project were chipped up and are being used as an arbour mulch. Other larger tree stumps will be used as nursing stumps for bird habitat.


Kirsty MacDonald
Parks and Open Space Planner
City of Nanaimo

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