Panama Flats

Vegetation Control on Panama Flats 

Panama Flats Field With Water and VegetationWe currently perform minimal maintenance on the existing vegetation on an annual basis. We till the fields to break down the vegetation. We anticipate continuing this process to control the odour problems previously encountered. For further information email parks@saanich.ca or call us at 250-475-5522.

Panama Flats Concept Plan 

Following a public engagement process Saanich Council approved the Concept Plan for Panama Flats in February 2014. The specific motions were:

a) endorse the Panama Flats Concept Plan prepared by LADR Landscape Architects dated October 23, 2013;

b) consider at a future Public Hearing, an application to the Agricultural Land Commission to include the proposed portion of Panama Flats in the Agricultural Land Reserve; and

c) subject to the proposed portion of Panama Flats being included in the Agricultural Land Reserve, an Expression of Interest be issued for farming these lands, the results of which would be considered by Council at a future meeting.”

Trail with Bike Rider Through Panama Flats

The report to Council and the associated attachments can be found through the following links:  

Report to Council (February 2014) [PDF - 458 KB]
Attachment 1: Concept Plan [PDF - 1.2 MB]
Attachment 2: Proposed ALR Addition [PDF - 1011 KB] 
Attachment 3: Survey Results [PDF - 38 KB]

We acquired the property in December 2011 to:

  • establish the site as public open space to provide flood plain management
  • optimize environmental values
  • create new park and trails
  • enhance food security.

The property was previously used for a variety of agricultural purposes for many decades drastically altering the land. The Colquitz River, which is an important fish habitat, runs along the western edge of the flats. When combined with adjacent parkland the total area of the site is approximately 116 acres (47ha). 

Public Engagement

We held an open house in October 2013 at Northridge Elementary School to involve members of the public in the planning process.

Display Panels

Panel #1 Panama Context Plan [PDF - 1.5 MB]
Panel #2 Panama Introduction [PDF - 2.5 MB]
Panel #3 Panama Flats Flood Plain Maintained [PDF - 1.1 MB]
Panel #4 Agricultural History [PDF - 997 KB]
Panel #5 Proposed Agricultural Use [PDF - 1 MB]
Panel #6 Panama Drainage Option for ALR [PDF - 942 KB]
Panel #7 Panama Existing Ecological Values [PDF - 965 KB]
Panel #8 Panama Proposed Ecological Elements [PDF - 1 MB]
Panel #9 Panama Current Recreation Use [PDF - 965 KB]
Panel #10 Panama Proposed Recreation Use [PDF - 965 KB]
Panel #11 Panama Concept Plan [PDF - 1.2 MB]

Planning Process

We worked with a multi-disciplinary team of consultants led by LADR Landscape Architects to develop a concept plan to guide the long range development and operation of the site. The plan established:

  • A framework for future long term uses of the site
  • A land use concept based on consultation with the community
  • A guide to future site use and operations

Key site issues are:

  • Agriculture – a priority focus to enhance local food security
    • Preservation of farmland 
    • Expansion of the ALR
  • Watershed, flood plain and storm water management
  • Environment - fisheries, waterfowl; rare plant and endangered bird species.
    • Conservation
    • Habitat Restoration
    • Colquitz River
  • Parks and Trails
    • Lands to the northwest, west and south zoned P4 and P4N
    • Municipal park classification
    • Existing Colquitz River trail and potential for perimeter trail
  • Recreation opportunities
  • Existing Structures – future use
  • Recent site alterations
  • Archaeology

Work to fund and implement the plan is ongoing.

Since 2014 we mow and till the flats every September to control the spread of invasive plants and to prevent a buildup of decaying organic matter.