More parkland is coming to the Capital Regional District.
The CRD is acquiring two sites that total almost 150 hectares or more than 370 acres when combined.
For $5.5 million, the CRD purchased an 81-hectare forested property consisting of five lots adjacent to Thetis Lake and Francis/King Regional Park in the Pike Lake area. The site has riparian and wetland habitats that drain into Craigflower Creek, portions of the salmon-bearing Craigflower Creek and significant patches of old-growth and mature second-growth forest. The purchase also includes conservation covenants on some adjacent lands and options to purchase additional lands surrounding Pike Lake.
“The lands near Thetis Lake will provide valuable greenspace near a dense urban area, for residents of the region,” said View Royal Mayor and CRD director David Screech. “This acquisition represents a significant addition to Thetis Lake Park within the Town Of View Royal.”
For $1 million, the CRD board also approved the acquisition of a 68-hectare property surrounded by the Sea to Sea and the Sooke Hills Wilderness regional parks. This forested property is within the Jack Lake/Waugh Creek watershed. According to the CRD, it eliminates an extensive gap in the public ownership of lands within the park. The site completes a protected area between Crabapple Lake and Jack Lake.
The land was purchased through the land acquisition fund, which is dedicated to land purchases for regional parks and trails.
“The CRD, with the support of our partners, has acquired more than 4,200 hectares of land valued at $58.7 million through the land acquisition fund since it was established in 2000,” said Ben Isitt, CRD parks and environment committee chair. “In that time the regional park system has grown from 8,400 hectares to more than 13,000 hectares.”
The fund has a balance of $2.8 million following these acquisitions with an estimated additional $3.6 million to be earned through the fund’s levy in August. The fund expires at the end of 2019 and the CRD’s parks and environment committee, as well as the CRD board, will soon begin discussions on renewing the fund.