A pedestrian walks through Kings Park along the trail that backs onto Bowker Creek in Kings Park. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich extends deadline for $2.75-million Kings Park fundraising

In wake of pandemic, council pushes the deadline to March 31, 2021

Saanich residents attempting to raise $2.75 million to save Kings Park get nine more months to secure the funds.

At the request of the Saanich Legacy Foundation, Mayor Fred Haynes asked council to extend the fundraising deadline to save the 2.2-hectare lot between Kings Road and Haultain Street. Given the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on community fundraising and advocacy activities, he asked that the original deadline of Aug. 31 be extended to March 31, 2021.

On June 22, council voted unanimously to support the motion.

“When we first created this process to fundraise and we had deadlines, the world was a very different place,” said Coun. Karen Harper at the council meeting. “… The time we have all isolating is time that has not been possible to do any fundraising.”

READ ALSO: Saanich officially owns ‘Kings Park’ but may not keep all of it in the future

The municipality bought the land from B.C. Hydro in 2019 for $5.5 million. The District also announced that $2.75 million would need to be fundraised by August 2020, to offset the cost of the park as Saanich borrowed $4 million for the purchase. Otherwise, portions of the lot would need to be sold.

On June 10, volunteers with the Saanich Legacy Foundation wrote to the municipality asking for a deadline extension to Dec. 31, 2021.

In the letter, organizers Rebecca Sterritt, Julian Lum and Paul McKivett explained that the ban on large gatherings had impacted fundraising events, grant applications have been delayed and those who have funds to give are assisting other “worthwhile campaigns” to help those facing the financial impacts of the pandemic.

READ ALSO: $2.7M Save Kings Park fundraiser kicks off Sept. 14

After a discussion, Haynes said he and the volunteers agreed on a March 31, 2021 deadline, the end of the District’s fiscal year.

Sterritt told Black Press Media that the volunteer Kings Park advocates have continued to do small-scale fundraising but that it’s been difficult with social distancing protocols and people’s current discomfort with in-person meetings. The group plans to reschedule large fundraising events and resume canvassing when possible.

READ ALSO: Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

Sterritt said as long as the volunteers can “hit the ground running in September,” she’s certain they’ll raise the required funds by the new deadline unless a second wave of COVID-19 hits in the fall.

– With files from Kendra Crighton.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanichparks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sooke and T’Sou’ke Nation receive financial boost for projects

Provincial, federal governments invest millions towards Greater Victoria infrastructure

Victoria man collects 28 bags of trash along two-kilometre stretch of highway

20-year-old spent 12 hours collecting garbage near Thetis Lake

It’s showtime: Victoria theatre reopens with new COVID-19 protocols

Capitol 6 theatre and SilverCity Victoria have reopened with limited seating

Victoria Police searching for missing teen

Arianna Mckenzie, 17, last seen July 2

Ryan Reynolds matching fundraising dollars for B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor appeals to the public with Make Ryan Pay! campaign

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Most Read