06/03/2013 01:47 EDT | Updated 08/03/2013 05:12 EDT

Colliery Dam Park Protesters Ready To Break Laws In Nanaimo

Flickr: Anna-Lena Konig
NANAIMO, B.C. - A group of Nanaimo, B.C., residents warns laws could be broken if that's what it takes to save a much-loved park in the south end of the Vancouver Island city.

More than 50 people gathered Sunday at Colliery Dam Park demanding city council immediately create plans and seek permits to ensure the rebuilding of two aging dams.

Council is expected to issue a tender for removal of the dams very soon, and work could be done between mid-June and mid-September.

Critics fear that if rebuilding plans aren't ready before demolition begins, the dams will never be replaced and Nanaimo will lose a popular location for swimming, hiking and picnicking.

One protester says some members recently attended a Nanaimo workshop on civil disobedience and are ready to protect the park by using tactics that could include violating local bylaws.

Colliery Dam park surrounds two dams constructed in 1910 by a local coal company to supply water for its mining needs but the dams became a vital drinking water reservoir for most of south Nanaimo, where the area was eventually turned into a park when the collieries shut down. (CKAY)

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