The Capital Regional District’s announcement of a new sign coming to Thetis Lake Regional Park landed with a thud on social media, but the decision has now been reversed.
On Facebook, the CRD announced it was removing the current hand-carved sign with new ones to align with its sign strategy.
“Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park got its new sign last week, and this week, the old log sign at Thetis Lake Regional Park will be removed in anticipation of its new sign being installed at the end of the month,” the Facebook post says.
“Signs play an important role in CRD parks and enable users (especially visitors, but also residents) to identify and navigate into parks whether traveling as a pedestrian, cyclist or in a vehicle.”
The proposal caused quite a stir online. Criticism flooded the government’s Instagram page calling for them to leave the sign as it is. After only a few hours, CRD officials reversed the decision.
“You spoke, we listened. We’ve heard and appreciate the passion that has been expressed regarding the Thetis Lake Regional Park log sign. The sign will stay in place until a decision can be made on how to move forward,” read the update.
Shortly after the initial announcement, social media responded with swift displeasure.
“Cool, I hate it,” writes one user on Reddit. As of 1 p.m. there were 200 comments on the Reddit post.
Responses on Facebook came in quick, with over 950 comments 22 hours after the post was initially published.
“The new artist rendering is modern and uninspired,” said Justin Sieben on Facebook. “The old one has character. Why don’t you pay some local woodworkers to use some harvested wood from the park, and make a new sign in the style of the old one? Nobody wants a new park sign to look like that. It doesn’t match a park.”
Residents are calling the sign “sterile”, and “out-of-touch.”
Not only has the sign been welcoming visitors to Thetis’ Lake since 1984, but it was also handcrafted by a local resident.
On Instagram, Lia Crowe says her late-dad hand-crafted the sign and she likes to visit it to remember her dad.
“I don’t have much to remember my dad by but this sign has always been a touch stone for me and a reminder of his talent as an artist and carver,” her post says.
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According to the CRD, the new sign would be easier to maintain and has been designed to require as little maintenance as possible.
“We recognize the new design is a departure from the grey and blue signs people are familiar with at park entrances,” said the CRD on its Instagram page.
“However, as wood signs tend to do, they decay over time and require increasing staff time and resources to stay legible, functional, and safe. The new signs have been designed to require as little maintenance as possible and provide many years of trouble-free use.”