In praise of regional parks

British Columbia has 29 Regional Districts spread out across our diverse province. All of them have regional or municipal parks that protect and showcase local natural heritage. I’m lucky enough to live on southern Vancouver Island in the Capital Regional District  (CRD). We have 33 regional parks and trails covering 13,000 hectares of land and representing a number of the major ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island and in the Gulf Islands.

These regional parks are very accessible and are some of the few parks that have affordable (often free!) interpretive programs. They are wonderful introductions to the natural world and welcome almost all comers. Although I’m usually out in more remote locals, I often return to some of my favourite Regional Parks for a day of nature photography, bird watching, botanizing, and rambling. I did just that yesterday, heading out to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park for some long exposure photography.

Sitting Lady Falls - Witty's Lagoon Regional Park

8 second exposure of Sitting Lady Falls
(ISO 50, 35mm, f/22, -2/3 EV, and two Cokin ND filters)

Sitting Lady Falls and Bilston Creek

Waterfall practice  - Sitting Lady Falls 7Witty's Lagoon - study 2Waterfall practice  - Sitting Lady Falls 2

Witty’s Lagoon is formed where Bilston Creek pours over Sitting Lady Falls into a large tidal lagoon. Named for the Witty family – 1860’s white settlers in the region – the Lagoon has an even longer history with First Nations people.

My objective was to photograph Sitting Lady Falls. This time of the year the falls is usually in full spate — gushing foaming white water down a 10 metre drop. Good time to try some long exposures.

Check out the CRD Parks page for more info on Witty’s Lagoon.

Another favourite of mine is Mt. Work Regional Park. I’ve been up it in every type of weather and enjoy the Arbutus trees, the big Douglas firs, and the troop of raven aerial acrobats who inhabit the top of the mountain. It is big mound of basalt rock that provides some lovely texture to almost any photo taken on Work’s rocky flanks and summit.

A well-worn pathMt. Work Views

Sun on the Mt. Work summit      Mt. Work, west ridge

Check out the CRD Parks page for more info on Mt. Work Park.