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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An ecology centre and trail system for the Tsolum River watershed Williams, Peter Gerard

Abstract

The Tsolum River flows through the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. A local stream stewardship group, the Tsolum River Restoration Society, has been working to restore the river's once-plentiful salmon population. The Society's director has expressed an interest in developing an interpretive trail system, based at an ecology-centre facility, to link their salmon habitat enhancement projects and explain them to the public. From this idea, the project's scope was expanded by the author, based on the rationale that the trail planning should encompass a broader program. As public trail development opportunities are rare, it was felt that the system should achieve the Society's goals, while providing an enjoyable recreational experience; accessing outstanding cultural and natural features; linking to other routes or trails; and providing an aesthetic experience. This project provides planning and design recommendations for achieving these objectives. Results of the project, including maps, diagrams, plans, and drawings, will be presented and discussed. Suitability analysis, utilizing a Geographic Information System, is the primary method used in data synthesis and trail layout. A theoretical paradigm, the Ecological Aesthetic, and associated methodologies will be discussed, and applications to the project will be described and assessed.

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