Beacon Hill Park is one of those wonders that abound on Vancouver Island, it is a place of beauty. The park has a long history that goes back many thousands of years and was a gathering place for the Lekwungen people, we know them as the Songhees People now. They would harvest camas roots here, in amongst the Gary oak forests.
There are numerous burial mounds here where the people would bury their dead. During the ’70s, some of these mounds were destroyed to make it easier to mow the lawns, in the ’90s, the museum help recreate these burial mounds.
In 1842, the hill was selected as the site for Fort Victoria. In 1878 over fears of war with Russia, batteries were placed on the hill that had two 64 pound guns mounted.
Now we have so much more on the grounds, some very beautiful lakes, and streams, waterfalls, and stone bridges. The flowers and trees are such wonderful displays of color and form, they can just take your breath away. There is a wonderful children’s petting zoo that has many wondrous animals, with the favorites being the goats, expressly the baby goats. There are a bowling green and clubhouse here along with many trails to walk about on, the birds will eat from your hand and the squirrels will climb right up to see if you have any tidbits in your pockets.
There is a restored bandstand here and plenty of controversy over its use as many people find it to be a form of commercialism. It’s the fact that they charge for events that use it. So the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island is hard at work creating a management plan for the park and all it entails. I think that offering outdoor concerts and charging a fee to see them is a fine use for the park, but that is only my opinion and I live 200 miles from it. The city did win a hallmark award for the bandstand in 2011.