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Saanich gifted with nearly 2-acre treed property from longtime resident

Split of protected urban forest, bike skills park planned for land at McKenzie/Burnside
A parcel of land on West Burnside Road near McKenzie Avenue has been donated by a resident to the District of Saanich. The municipality hopes to develop a bike park on one half of the land while keeping the other as parkland. (Courtesy District of Saanich)

A longtime Saanich resident has donated a nearly two-acre property to the municipality to help the land remain in the public realm.

Edward (Ted) Wilson has lived his entire life at 731 Burnside Rd. W., a 1.85-acre parcel purchased by his parents before he was born.

“It’s a pleasure for me to know the property will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come,” Wilson said in a release.

Saanich plans to subdivide the property, using the southern portion adjacent to the Galloping Goose Regional Trail for a youth bike skills park, to be developed over the next few years. Parks staff intend to ask council to approve a budget of $200,000 in 2023 for development of the facility.

The section of land closer to Burnside Road, a densely wooded area with second-growth forest, will be protected as part of Saanich’s urban forest. The district will hold what it calls the “preservation parcel” in trust, and grant a “life estate” to Wilson to allow him to continue living in the single-family residence on the property. Upon expiration of the life estate, Saanich will dedicate the parcel as park space using Wilson’s mother’s family name of Wenden.

“Mr. Wilson has given our community a tremendous and valuable gift of green space that is wonderfully rich in forest and open spaces to encourage active lifestyles,” Mayor Fred Haynes said. “On behalf of Saanich, I thank him for his generosity and thoughtfulness. His gift adds significantly to our parks and brings real benefit for all our residents with increased recreation opportunities and an enhanced urban forest.”

Opportunities for public input on the bike skills park will become available at as the project progresses.

ALSO READ: Wetland property next to Saanich home donated for parkland through will


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