Donors Making a Difference: Gabriola Lions Club and the Drumbeg Park Access Road

January 2, 2020

Photo: Gabriola Lions at the Drumbeg Provincial Park access road. [Left] Eric Boulton (seated on the tractor), Bob Rooks, Graham Miller, Guy Parcher, Dianne Cohen, Bernard Wohlleben & John Roman. Dixon Kenny/Gabriola Lions Club

Drumbeg Provincial Park is a popular park on the south-west tip of Gabriola Island. With stunning views, walking trails, a sandy beach and a short swim away from Rogers Reef, Drumbeg Park is a great destination for hiking, diving, water sports, fishing, swimming, wildlife viewing and more. 

While the park itself is stunning, the park access road has had some challenges over the years. Improper drainage caused erosion and large potholes, making it difficult to drive with anything other than a 4x4.

Photo: Drumbeg Provincial Park access road construction begins in early November 2019. Dixon Kenny/Gabriola Lions Club

The Gabriola Lions Club began voluntarily maintaining the access road, spending many hours raking gravel back into the potholes and mending the road as best they could.

However, over time the maintenance became increasingly more expensive and only really served as a band-aid solution – it didn’t fix the underlying problem.

That’s when the Gabriola Lions Club approached the BC Parks Foundation and BC Parks to find a long-term solution for the road. 

BC Parks helped provide funding for the gravel for road surfacing. Once the hurdle of supplies was overcome, the next challenge the project faced was the high cost of machinery, machine work and labour to rebuild the road. 

Fortunately, Dr. Bob Rooks, owner of Gabriola Gravel & Excavating, and a proud and active Gabriola Lion, stepped forward, providing his personnel, equipment and expertise to the project through a generous donation to the BC Parks Foundation.

Photo: Drumbeg Provincial Park access road under construction. Dixon Kenny/Gabriola Lions Club

In early November 2019, the access road was completely closed to public access, and Dr. Rooks and his team went to work. They raised the road surface, created ditching to support natural water runoff, and made the road sloped to the standards of a private driveway. All these efforts were made to help prevent future potholes and keep the road healthy and accessible year-round.

Now that the access road is open again, you may still see Dr. Rooks and his crew doing small touch-ups as the road settles, as they continue to donate their time and equipment to this great park. 

Photo: Post-construction road. Dixon Kenny/Gabriola Lions Club

The BC Parks Foundation would like to thank the Gabriola Lions Club for their initiative and leadership on this project. We would like to especially acknowledge Dr. Rooks and Gabriola Gravel & Excavating for their generous donation.

Read more about the project in the Gabriola Sounder. Click here to see the many ways you can support the BC Parks Foundation and projects like this.

Photo: Gabriola Lions [Left] Dixon Kenny and Dr. Bob Rooks. Dixon Kenny/Gabriola Lions Club


About the author

Colleen Dunbar's first time camping in a provincial park was at six weeks old and from there she grew up telling ghost stories around the campfire. She's now turned that love of parks and storytelling into a career as the Communications & Marketing Manager at the BC Parks Foundation. Say hi to her on the Foundation's Instagram, Facebook and Twitter channels. Information and photos for this post were provided by the Gabriola Lions Club. Additional information pulled from the Gabriola Sounder.