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Late donations help HAT reach goal to buy Saanich’s Mountain Road Forest with CRD

Community bands together to protect wooded property; 1,400-plus donors contribute over $1 million
The Habitat Acquisition Trust’s fundraising efforts to acquire the nearly-50-acre Mountain Road Forest, in partnership with the CRD, have accomplished their purpose. (Black Press Media file photo)

Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) reached its fundraising goal in partnership with the Capital Regional District, which donated $2 million toward the conservation of Mountain Road Forest.

The Greater Victoria community came together with over 1,400 donors to the campaign, which raised $1.12 million, enough with the CRD portion to cover the $3 million purchase price of the property.

“The CRD needed the community to meet them halfway to raise the full amount,” HAT executive director Katie Blake said in a release Wednesday.

While the campaign fell short of the original goal of $1.4 million, it illustrated how nature creates a powerful connection between people and the earth, she said.

“Truly this was a grassroots effort – no, we didn’t make our original goal, but it was enough to demonstrate community support.”

ALSO READ: Campaign to buy Saanich’s Mountain Road Forest nears deadline

HAT anticipates the successful completion of the land purchase by the end of September.

Like many groups that fundraised to protect the green space, the Prospect Lake Heritage Society put funds from a book sale toward the campaign. The society published a historical compilation entitled Prospect Lake Reflections and was surprised by community interest in the book, which raised $500.

“We felt it was appropriate to contribute the profits from the book sale to the preservation of Mountain Road Forest, as a tribute to the importance of this property to the past and future of our community,” said society chair Winona Pugh.

Blake pointed to the importance of many smaller donations in helping HAT reach its goal.

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