McPhee Meadows

Start: December 2021

End:

Last Updated: October 18, 2022

Project Description:

City staff have been working with consultants to develop a conceptual design to inform the opening of a 4.6 hectare (11-acre) green space along the Puntledge River to the public, while preserving and restoring its riparian and wildlife habitat features.

Concept Design

The design direction for the property is determined primarily by the intentions of the donor and the terms of Federal Ecological Gift program requirements, which state that biodiversity and environmental heritage features of the property must be maintained. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, input from the K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) is also important as the McPhee Meadows property has historical, cultural, and archaeological significance to KFN members.

The concept plan takes into consideration feedback from partners, stakeholders, and the community.

The final concept plan [PDF - 9 MB] includes the following key features:

  • Formalized river access point
  • Orchard expansion to allow for demonstration gardens and cultural/heritage learning spaces
  • Pedestrian trails around meadow and through west panhandle
  • Access points from Menzies Avenue and 3rd Street
  • Washroom facility
  • Parking
  • Select invasive species removal
  • Native tree/shrub planting for riparian restoration and adjacent property privacy

McPheeMeadows Final Concept Plan Report August 2022 [PDF - 9 MB]

Background

McPhee Meadows is located on the south bank of the Puntledge River in West Courtenay around 4.1 km upstream of the Courtenay River estuary. The land was donated to the City of Courtenay and Nature Trust BC by the late Robert George McPhee following his passing in 2010. The donation was part of the Federal Ecological Gift program, and as a requirement of this program must maintain biodiversity and environmental heritage features such as rivers, riparian areas, trees, and eagle nests.

 

The City of Courtenay and the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) have a Memorandum of Understanding for ICF-owned land along Menzies Avenue between 5th and 1st Streets which connects to McPhee Meadows.  These ICF-owned lands will be explored as part of this project pending confirmation of lease agreements.

Mr. McPhee’s vision was to maintain the property as a public wetland park in a natural state, and preserve an existing apple orchard and several other trees with heritage values.

A book has been written about the history of the McPhee family in Courtenay. For further information please visit this link: https://www.ianjmkennedy.ca/#joseph

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 Project Timing

Phase Timeline Detail
1 December 2021 - January 2022 Research & engagement
2 February 2022 - Summer 2022

Concept Design development. Staff seek Council approval for the McPhee Meadow’s preferred concept plan

3 Fall 2022 - Spring 2023

Detail construction design and permitting

4 Summer 2023 - 2024

Construction subject to available project funding & City Council Approval of the 2023 Capital Budget

Project Status:

Concept Design - Community Engagement