Spotlight on John Phillips Memorial Park

December 2023 - February 2024

January 26, 2024
Literacy Week Pop-Up Story Walk

The Friends of Sooke Parks Society hosted a pop-up story book walk at John Phillips Memorial Park in partnership with the Sooke Library on Friday, January 26. Roughly 20 adults with children came out and over 60 dogs :)

We chose to coordinate this pop-up story book walk in January as part of Family Literacy Week 2024 which is designed to celebrate adults and children reading and learning together across the province. The theme this year was “Let’s Have a Family Party!” Make food, sing songs, and play games.

Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy reading along to Valerie Bolling's book, Bing, Bop Bam: Time to Jam! with illustrations by Sabrina Khadija.

December 21, 2023
Winter Solstice Lantern Walk

The Friends of Sooke Parks Society hosted Sooke's first ever Solstice Lantern Walk for the longest night of the year on December 21. There were amazing homemade lanterns, lots of happy voices, and a beautiful first winter evening.

Thank you to our amazing volunteers for all the behind the scenes work that went into putting this amazing event on including all the creative lanterns to light our way along the path and hot chocolate station. Thank you as well to Village Foods for the hot chocolate mix, Cafe Vosino for preparing the hot chocolate and the cups, Sooke Region Museum for hosting the lantern making workshop and lending us a 2nd thermos, Vancouver Island Regional Library + Fans for hosting a take and make lantern craft set at Sooke Library, and A Sea of Bloom Floral Design for leading the procession.

We would love to turn this into an annual event and partner with the many creative talents in Sooke. If you have ideas for next year, please let us know.

November 22, 2023
Tree Planting in John Phillips Memorial Park

We were thrilled to plant nine new trees in John Phillips Park along with our awesome volunteers, District of Sooke Parks Staff and Councillor Jeff Bateman on November 22, 2023 as part of our Sooke Parks Enhancement Program.

The trees were planted along the Stickleback Urban Trail on the Nott Brook Pond side of the park. Two species, a Greenspire Linden and a Burgundy Belle Maple, were planted in an alternating pattern with the intention to create a majestic boulevard of trees at maturity, contrasting nicely in their natural shapes and their seasonal colours. At full maturity, these trees will grow to 40 feet, providing a beautiful ambience for park visitors, shade in the summer, and improved air quality for all.

Planting trees helps mitigate against climate change and we know that preserving and expanding urban green spaces is one of the most important and impactful contributions that municipalities can make to promoting greater climate resiliency.

Spotlight on Pineridge Park

September-November 2023

December 1, 2023
Tree Planting in Pineridge Park

We planted two beautiful trees in Pineridge Park on November 10, 2023 with the help of our amazing volunteers and support from District of Sooke Parks staff. This time we planted two Cornus Eddie’s White Wonder dogwood trees.

Besides beautification - white flowers in the spring and fantastic fall colours - dogwoods have an interesting shape and are one of the few trees that will survive in a forest understory. These trees are a great option to reduce fuel hazard – low hazard itself, rapidly decaying leaf-litter, and shade the ground and lower bows of trees with higher fuel hazard ratings. Dogwoods are also moderately slow-growing and well behaved ‘good neighbour’ trees that can live over 100 years.

We also took the opportunity to pull out more invasives - 4 bags of periwinkle, holly, and blackberry vines in an hour!

November 10, 2023, 12pm-4pm
Remembrance Day Pop-Up Story Walk

The Friends of Sooke Parks Society (FSPS) hosted a Remembrance Day Pop-Up Story Walk with the Sooke Library and Military Family Resource Centre at Pineridge Park on Friday, November 10 from 12pm-4pm. Over 200 people came out including several classes from Poirer Elementary. The colouring tent hosted by the MFRC was a big hit.

The featured book was: In Flander’s Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae by Linda Granfield with illustrations by Janet Wilson.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out and look forward to seeing you again next year.

November 1, 2023, 5pm-8pm
Spooky Pumpkin Walk

The Friends of Sooke Parks Society (FSPS) hosted a Spooky Pumpkin Walk event at Pineridge Park on Wednesday, November 1 from 5pm - 8pm. We received over 300 pumpkins and 200+ attendees making the evening a huge success.

Thank you to everyone who came out and/or donated a pumpkin. We already can't wait for next year! For more pictures of the evening, see our Facebook page.

September 23, 2023, 10:30am
Park Clean-Up and FireProof Initiative

Thank you to everyone who came out to help clean up and FireSmart Pineridge Park!

Key Highlights:

  • 23+ people and a few kiddos too

  • Two truckloads of debris and potential fuel for fires

  • Invasives like holly and ivy cleared out

  • Pathways raked

Nice Work everyone!

Getting Started as a Society

September 16, 2023, 10:30am
Meet and Greet

Thanks to everyone who came out to the meet and greet at Murray Road Park. We had over 20 people attend and it was inspiring to hear all the great ideas and to feel the passionate support for Sooke parks and green spaces.