Keep the South Westwood Trails Open!

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Dear Katelyn Moores and the Department of National Defense,

We recently received your Public Safety Warning regarding the imminent trail closures at Westwood Lake.  

The trail network that lies within your boundaries is used by thousands of people.  It benefits the livelihoods of everyone on Vancouver Island, let alone Nanaimo. From hikers using it to access Mount Benson, to trail runners, to mountain bikers with the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club; many people use these trails to bring joy to their lives.

These trails are not just trails, they are an integral part of what brings us joy on a daily basis.  To relieve stress, to enjoy time with each other, to build community, to build our families.

These trails fuel the positive side of our community, through allowing us to have a space for recreation; to become physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.  We have many issues in Nanaimo; homelessness, crime, and poverty.  In order for us to become strong community members to work with these challenges, our community needs positive energy to bring to the table.  It is our forests, our mountains, Westwood Lake, and beyond, that allows us to bring strength into our community, to meet these challenges face to face.  The trails in the closure area are in particular some of the most enjoyable trails in our forest.

Please allow us to continue to use these trails!!