Steenkamp on removal of barbed wire

February 4, 2021
Times Colonist, CHEK News, CFAX 1070, Goldstream News Gazette
Article Source: Read the Original Article

Royal Roads President Philip Steenkamp discussed the decision to remove all the barbed wire on campus fences with the Times Colonist, CHEK News , CFAX 1070 and the Goldstream News Gazette.

Steenkamp made the first cut in barbed wire that tops campus fences Feb. 3.

Here’s an excerpt from his conversation with Darron Kloster of the Times Colonist:

“It’s a message to our neighbours, to the West Shore and to people in general that we are not a penitentiary … we are a place of learning,” said Steenkamp, the university’s president. “Barbed wire sends the wrong message.”


Last year, on its 25th anniversary, the university set out a new strategic vision: “Inspiring people with the courage to transform the world.”

“One of those goals is to invite the people in, and for the university to venture out,” said Steenkamp, adding many people regard the campus as the “Stanley Park” of the West Shore. “I see hundreds of people a day walking their dogs, enjoying the gardens, runners … even today, as I was cutting the barbed wire, a group of small children and their teacher were passing by. This is what we want to see here at Royal Roads — people of all ages using the property.”

Steenkamp eliminated admission fees for accessing its extensive gardens last year, and said large plots will be opening this year for community gardens. The walled garden and greenhouses will be converted to grow vegetables for food services on campus and for local food banks.

He envisions the military academy’s abandoned tennis courts being turned into raised beds for community gardens. The university recently established beehives there to supply honey for use in its food services.

“The whole future is about food production and security,” said Steenkamp. “Growing food closer to home is a major concern, especially in light of the pandemic, and [RRU] needs to be part of the answer.”

Read more in the Times Colonist, the Goldstream News Gazette and watch a report from CHEK News.