John Phillips Memorial Park & Ponds Corridor
Last updated August 9, 2021
John Phillips Memorial Park, named for the groundskeeper who dedicated much of his time and talents to enhancing the space, is located at 2201 Otter Point Road, next to the District of Sooke Municipal Hall, between Otter Point Road, Wadams Way, and Townsend Road. This seven-hectare parkland, formerly operated as a golf course, features a pond, 1.52 kilometres of gravel walking trails, Douglas fir, hemlock and cedar groves.
The park area extends via the Stickleback Urban Trail to Ponds Corridor. Ponds Corridor is an additional 2.5 acres of linear parkland.
- Access to many great trails in neighbourhoods and small trail connections in and around the town centre
- Natural wetland home to 83 species of birds, frogs and red-eared slider turtles
- Attractive hilly space (used for sledding in winter) with mowed grass and diverse species of trees
- A popular destination for dog walkers
- Water fountain with water bottle fill station and pet faucet
- Park washrooms – open dawn to dusk
Stay informed by joining our electronic mailing lists, subscribe here.
As reported in 2005 and 2016, community response shows a strong desire for a park that:
- Maintains our green space and preserves the natural areas while making the best use of the parks’ greatest feature, the pond.
- Promotes an active, well-used park that caters to the general public.
- Serves a wide range of community needs including those of seniors, families, youth, children and tourists and provides accessibility for those with special needs.
- Provides a central gathering area for family and neighbourhood groups, festivals, community markets.
- Acts as a hub with pathways connecting to community trails and the downtown core.
- Provides adequate parking with additional access to be by pathways.
Community and committee planning considers the park area to be of three zones:
- Wildlife Zone: wetlands, pond, meadow with natural grasses and shrubs, boardwalk, gazebo, etc.
- Passive Recreation Zone: picnic, informal games, loop trail, etc.
- Community Activities Zone: activity areas, shelter, washrooms, parking as required, multi-use activities such as country market or family and community gatherings and festivals, family and children’s play area, etc.
With the approval of the parks and trails master plan in October 2020, enhancements are set to take shape at John Phillips Memorial Park. The revised master site planning will include additional parking, a fenced dog park within Ponds Park Corridor, and planning of a multi-use community area to maximize the functionality of this community asset (in follow-up to the 2016 consultation).
The District’s Parks & Trails Master Plan identifies continued community engagement for John Phillips Memorial Park and with that, additional opportunities will be available as an updated master plan for the park is developed:
- Alternative Approval Process to lease a portion of John Phillips Memorial Park to support the development of multi-use community facility: 8:30 a.m. August 12 to September 15, 2021 at 4:00 p.m, MORE >>
- Fenced dog park at Ponds Park Corridor: public input received May 4, 2021 to June 4, 2021. PROJECT UPDATES >>
Frequently Asked Questions (& Answers)
Master planning of John Phillips Memorial Park was launched in 2005 with park grooming and trail additions being made from 2008 to 2012. Trail expansions and the addition of picnic tables and benches were added in 2016. 2019-2020 marked the addition of a park washroom, wayfinding kiosk and wayfinding signage and the installation of a water fountain.
On October 13, 2020, Council approved the Parks and Trails Master Plan to continue to shape the future enhancements of the District’s parks and trails. The master planning process informs what the community can expect to see taking place at John Phillips Memorial Park in the coming months.
As captured in the Parks & Trails Master Planning, updating of the plan is needed. An updated map of the park is being produced and will be further informed through public engagement opportunities.
STAY INFORMED: Please subscribe to be added to related electronic mailing lists to be notified of public engagement opportunities
Much of this will be informed by the community. Please participate in available engagement opportunities. Prioritized amenities will then be identified in the annual budget. To learn more about the District’s annual budget, visit sooke.ca/budget. To participate in budget conversations, visit letstalk.sooke.ca/budget.
As timelines become available, please check back to this page.
Determining Park Use
A John Phillips Memorial Park Trust Committee was formed in the summer of 2005, with a mandate to develop and implement a process resulting in a recommendation for the future of the park. On November 10, 2006 the final report was approved by Council and included:
- A phased approach to the development of the park
- Within the phases, park enhancements may include:
- Preservation/restoration of the wetlands and pond area
- Establishing a meadow area
- Development of accessible pathways
- Boardwalks through sensitive areas
- Lighting additions
- Additional picnic areas – four picnic tables as of fall 2020
- Picnic shelter
- Permanent washroom structure – completed 2019
- Expanded parking (to be adequate but only as extensive as required)
- Open activity areas for non-structured recreation
- Amenities and facilities provided by volunteer groups
- Special plantings
- Multi-purpose structure for functions, gathering, country market, etc.
- Play area for families and children
- Putting green
- Trail additions connecting Townsend access to Otter Point Road access was completed in 2012.
- Community youth expressed a keen interest in a bike slalom run. A new location for this community amenity was selected and the Sooke Bike Park opened in March 2015 at the SEAPARC Leisure Complex, located at 2168 Phillips Road.
- The loop trail additions and further connection from Townsend to Otter Point Road were completed in 2016.
- Water fountain with water bottle fill station and pet faucet was completed 2019.
- Washrooms, wayfinding signage and a park kiosk were added in 2020.
District of Sooke Parks Department