Paul at Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary all about making connections.

As a Senior Transportation Technologist in the engineering department, Paul knows what it takes to keep people moving in the District of Saanich. Whether those people are walking, cycling, or driving – Paul knows.

In February 2010, Paul wondered how well the road/trail crossings were working: were they visible and safe. As he started looking around, he decided the best way to know how well a trail is working, is to walk the trail.

One walk and he was hooked – he felt the stress of his highly complex and demanding job just melt away as he walked the trails. Then he realized that in a municipality with an abundance of parks, there are many people who still cannot access them. He wanted to bring the park experience to them.

Thus began his “Hike Every Park” project. Over the next two years, Paul deliberately experienced every park in the District of Saanich. As of April 8, 2012, he has hiked and photographed all 157 – including the 8 parks that had been added to the roster since he began his effort.

Feeling like the king of the hill
“I wanted to make sure that I knew what I was talking about.” says the now avid hiker, “Now I have a real good sense of just what is out there; what our parks can offer people.”

Paul has taken thousands of photos, documenting the beauty of these often hidden gems. He hopes to develop his photographic library into a full virtual tour of each park. He envisions each virtual ‘tour’ including a naturalist tour, historical stories, video clips, and audio tracks – all the components to bring as much of this experience as possible to those who cannot actually visit the parks.

For this next phase of the project, Paul is inviting participation from the public. Starting with one valley and one mountain - Colquitz River Park and Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary - Paul invites people to use their creativity to highlight how they appreciate the park space. Are you drawn by the sights and sounds of the place? Record them. Do you have words to describe an adventure or some history? Write them down.

Want to contribute or volunteer? Contact him through his "Hike Every Park" blog or on Facebook

Please, help Paul shine a light on 157 Saanich Stars – our parks.