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Final phase of Fisherman's Wharf project adding food garden, beach

May 23 2012
Crews continue work on the Fisherman's Wharf Park project in James Bay. Improvements to the park include the addition of a terraced food garden and a mock beach. Work is expected to finish by late summer. 

Crews continue work on the Fisherman's Wharf Park project in James Bay. Improvements to the park include the addition of a terraced food garden and a mock beach. Work is expected to finish by late summer.

Photograph by: Adrian Lam , timescolonist.com (May 22, 2012)

The final phase of a new look with a variety of new uses at Fisherman's Wharf Park in James Bay is on target to be finished by late summer.

Improvements to the 1.56-hectare park include a mock beach with sand, dune grasses and driftwood, a rain garden that filters water as it runs into Victoria Harbour and a food garden with herbs and figs for the picking.

The project, now in its second phase, is expected to cost about $1.2 million, with phase two costing about $800,000. Work is largely being carried out by City of Victoria crews.

A playground, a pathway to the harbour and a wheelchair-accessible ramp to the wharf were installed during phase one.

Construction on the second stage began a month ago and is expected to be complete by summer's end, said Doug DeMarzo, manager of park planning and design for the city.

The new rain garden will measure about 360 square metres, DeMarzo said, and will be constructed in a depression with plants able to withstand dry and wet conditions. Visitors will be able to cross it on a bridge.

Berms and more plants will fill the site, helping differentiate the various areas. The aim is to use 80 per cent native plants, DeMarzo said.

Stormwater and runoff will be funnelled into the rain garden, he said, where it will be cleaned by filtering through the garden - a process called bio-filtration - before running into the harbour.

A plaza to create a quiet seating area and completion of the harbour pathway on the north side of the park are also coming. The faux beach will face Fisherman's Wharf, providing water views.

Park visitors will be able to follow a rock wall built on the outline of the original bay, which was filled in the 1950s.

A pilot project will create a terraced food garden featuring fig trees and herbs for citizens. "They are welcome to pick herbs as they please," DeMarzo said.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

Twitter: @carlawilsonTC

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