The Gorge at Banfield Park, BC - Valentino G.

When I was young at The Gorge I swam with my family. We jumped off of the dock with our friends and splashed around all day. Entering the water was one of the fun parts because you would jump off the dock straight down into deep water. Hitting the water sent chills up my back. There was no way to just walk into the water; I had to jump off the dock, making a loud splash as the waves bounced off of each other. I might even swallow the salty, bitter water in The Gorge as I swam and played.

When I was young at The Gorge I helped maintain the water and keep it clean. I spent time cleaning the water with my friends, family and even strangers, listening to the laughter and chatter. We would fish plastic out of the water, and sometimes we would get dirty, feeling the mud on our feet and the smell of garbage and the ocean in the air. The water may have looked dirty, but it was actually one of the cleanest water sources in Victoria. Everyone cleaned The Gorge so we could swim.

When I was young at The Gorge we would bike The Galloping Goose Trail, a 55 km stretch around The Gorge through Victoria all the way to Sooke. We would bump up and down as we crossed the wooden bridge and then would feel the smoothness of the pavement on the trail.From the trail you could see the sea lions that lived in the Gorge. Their fat, grey bodies lying on the rocks, feeling the summer heat. The view was beautiful, and I could smell the fresh water as we biked along the trail.

When I was young at The Gorge I would walk along at Banfield Park with my friends and family. I spent lots of time on the playground with my brother, playing with kids from our neighbourhood. I watched as the older kids played Frisbee, listening to their laughter and excitement as someone made a catch. Going down the big red slide, feeling the plastic stick to my skin and hearing a squeak in my ears. I would hear the wind as it blew through my hair and rustled the leaves of the fruit trees surrounding the park.

The water of the Gorge is calm and reflects the scenery around it. The community worked together to clean the Gorge and make it a sustainable place to swim. The Gorge is full of families and friends enjoying the water. The Gorge is a place to be together and strengthen bonds. I can imagine going back to Victoria and The Gorge still being as beautiful as always. For now, it lives in my memories as a place of togetherness and gathering with those I love.

Banfield Park, BC
Valentino G.