Pat Woodward’s favourite place to be was at the top of Chilliwack Mountain, surrounded by trees and plants in a beautiful wild garden. And now, everyone who visits the 36-acre nature reserve at Hillkeep Regional Park will know her story.
A kiosk was unveiled Oct. 28 in memory of Woodward, who passed away in October of 2020.
Pat and her daughter, Paige, donated the land to the City of Chilliwack and the park was created more than three years ago. The Chilliwack Mountain Ratepayers Association (CMRA) presented the idea for a kiosk to the city and Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD).
“Hillkeep Park came up at an executive meeting,” said Ron Angell of the CMRA. “Patricia Woodward donated this parcel of valuable land and there was no marked recognition. A letter was sent to the city suggesting a kiosk. As a result, it’s erected. I don’t believe it would have been done without our input.”
Woodward was born Aug. 16, 1926 and the kiosk takes readers through her early years and the journey that brought her to Chilliwack in 1963. After assembling several parcels of land to create Hillkeep, she lived there from the 1970s up to her death.
Woodward held big dreams for the land.
“And then Pat, playing architect at last, erected a very large wing on her very small house,” the kiosk explained. “In her mind’s eye, the building would become a study centre for botanists, ecologists, school kids and garden clubs. Attached to it would be a small botanical garden and arboretum reflecting this region.”
While that dream hasn’t turned into reality, yet, Hillkeep Regional Park does include two kilometres of trails, winding through natural woodland filled with a variety of birds, mammals, insects and plants. A viewing platform provides panoramic views of the Fraser Valley floor and Cascade Mountain range.
See fvrd.ca/EN/main/parks-recreation/parks-trails/hillkeep-regional-park.html for more info.