Land donation boosts size of East Sooke park

The Sisters of Saint Ann have donated a 23-hectare parcel of land adjacent to East Sooke Regional Park

One of the Capital Regional District’s largest parks just got bigger.

The Sisters of Saint Ann have donated a 23-hectare parcel of land adjacent to East Sooke Regional Park to the Capital Regional District.

The land is located in the Juan de Fuca Area, adjacent to East Park Regional Park, near Anderson Cove on the Sooke Basin. The parcel features 300 metres of frontage along East Sooke Road.

The property was assessed in 2014 by B.C. Assessment at $587,000.

“This gift supports our continuing commitment to respect the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people and to preserve the environment; it is also a way of contributing, in perpetuity, to the health and well-being of the people of Greater Victoria and surrounding area,” said Sister Marie Zarowny, province leader for the Sisters of St. Ann.

The property was purchased in the late 1950s as part of a larger parcel in the Sooke basin that included Glenairley, which the sisters used as a place of relaxation.

The parcel complements the natural and recreational opportunities found in East Sooke Regional Park, while providing an important green space buffer from nearby development areas, said Susan Brice, CRD regional parks committee chair.

“[The sisters] have provided a prudent investment for the public which leaves a legacy for future generations. It also directly contributes to the ecological integrity of the park,” added Nils Jensen CRD board chair.

East Sooke Regional Park is now 1,457 hectares with this addition. The regional park received more than 145,000 visits in 2014 and features more than 50 kilometres of trails.