And as the province and country as a whole slowly begins to emerge socially and economically from what seems like a long, surreal spring sleep, people are carefully beginning to venture out and enjoy once again, all that our beautiful part of the island has to offer. As our local, provincial and national health authorities maintain, we’re “not out of the woods quite just yet” and it’s still important for us all to remember the importance of social distancing and regular hygiene practices as part of daily routines to keep healthy, safe and COVID-19 at bay.
It’s also important – now more than ever – to continue reaching out to our family, friends and more (particularly) vulnerable community members with caring and support, as well as our local and small business and companies which are the economic backbone of our communities. They have been hit particularly hard by the epidemic. To this end, we encourage our members to consult OPSRRA’s business directory of local member organizations when looking for goods, services, etc. in our communities, as well as adding your local business by going to the Business Directory Application page. As mentioned in our last report, there are also a number of supports in place for those affected by the pandemic, including the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and BC’s COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information site.
OPSRRA directors continue to practice social distancing by holding our meetings using Zoom, with our most recent meeting held on Monday June 8, to keep some continuity in our operations and things running smoothly.
Sooke Region Community Health Network (SRCHN) COVID-19 Zoom Roundtable
OPSRRA, along with other groups and organizations in our communities has been participating in an Age-Friendly COVID-19 Zoom Roundtable hosted by SRCHN every second Wednesday of the month, from 9:30-11:00 am, to discuss ongoing support activities and emerging inter-generational needs within our communities. The Roundtable has been acting as a coordinating body in identifying necessary services that are operational, as well as gaps that need to be addressed as part of the on-going epidemic. For more information, contact Christine Bossi (SCHRN Coordinator at email@example.com or tel: 250-858-3458).
We are still evaluating how and when to reschedule our spring Annual General Meeting (AGM) as social gatherings in person, at the time of writing, are still limited to 50 people with social distancing, as mandated by our local and provincial health authorities. At this point, we’re hoping that we may be able to do this in conjunction with the Sunday Shirley Market later this summer. We’ll let you know as soon as we can.
Update on “Welcome to Jordan River diitiida” Signs
We are still waiting for local businesses to resurface as the province moves into Stage 3 re-opening, but we hope to approach those we contacted prior to the COVID pandemic, as well as additional ones, in the coming weeks to see if any of them would be able to help with fundraising for the installation of the signs. We are also approaching the new road maintenance contractors for our region, Emcon Services, to assist. Again, if you’re able to help us with costs through donations or other ways, please go to our donation page.
Otter Point Rd and Highway 14 – Corridor Improvements
Activities have slowly begun to pick up again with contractor crews beginning to realign some of the hydro poles along Otter Point Rd. route between Stellars Dr. (in the east) and Ramsden Rd. (in the west). Not too much movement (pun intended) along Highway 14 lately with regard to the continued realignment of the Connie Road to Glinz Lake Road, but hopefully that will be picking up soon this summer as well.
Membership Renewal Process – Another Reminder
We are continuing our transition from lifetime to 5-year renewable memberships and have had good responses to date. Thank you, again, to everyone who has already renewed. You can renew your membership several ways, and it’s only $10.00 per person for five years and $10.00 per year for a business. You can fill in the membership form, send an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a cheque to the address below:
c/o 9193 West Coast Road
Shirley BC V9Z 1G3
Reminder New Board Members – We Need YOU
OPSRRA is continuing to look for a secretary and a membership director. If you’re interested in helping to make a difference in your community and in finding out more about director positions, you can read about them here. Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Invasive Plant Species
With the start of summer, things really start to grow, we’re reminded about the challenges and threat that invasive species such as Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus), English ivy (Hedera helix), and Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium), among others, present to the beautiful native biodiversity that abounds in our communities as well as agriculture, forestry, and recreation areas.
If you’re dealing with an invasive species problem on your property, a neighbour’s, or in your neighbourhood, it’s always good to develop a good understanding of their habitat and reproductive biology first for effectively addressing their control. Some good websites include The Invasive Species Council of British Columbia (ISCBC), and CRD Invasive Species, as well the BC Government has information on Reporting Invasive Species and who can “coordinate follow-up activities with the appropriate local authorities”.
Although we encourage everyone to keep on top of invasives on their own property, we strongly advise that you don’t attempt to do the same in your neighbour’s property or neighbourhood without consulting and discussing the issue with them first to support a workable and cooperative arrangement. There are great tools and resources available on the ISCBC website. Some opinions have been voiced by OPSRRA members that the CRD and Juan de Fuca (JdF) Electoral Area should be more proactive in creating by-laws around encouraging and enforcing invasive plant removal and the prohibition of their sale in nurseries where they’re identified. OPSRRA will continue to monitor the situation with the CRD.
No-Dumping Signs at Muir Creek
You may have noticed that the deteriorating “No Dumping” signs at Muir Creek have been replaced with new similar coroplast signs by CRD at the request of OPSRRA, with many thanks! Although OPSRRA is no longer in the business of organizing clean-ups of illegal dumping sites, we are continuing to support community members wishing to champion clean-up of illegal dumping sites and working with CRD to support education in this regard. If you spot an illegal dumping site please contact the JdF CRD (250-642-1500). If you come across illegal dumping in progress, avoid confronting the individual(s), but rather snap a quick photo, if you can, or jot down their vehicle license plate number and report it to the Sooke RCMP (250-642-5241). OPSRRA would also appreciate being copied on any email correspondence (email@example.com).
Have a safe and wonderful summer everyone!