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LETTER: SD61 should cancel sale of Lansdowne property

I’m strongly opposed to the trustees of School District 61 selling public green space for development.

Here we go again, a replay of 2007. The trustees of SD61 selling public green space without public input. Prominent Victorians (this time the board of Victoria Hospice Society) planning to develop public green space in a neighborhood they themselves don’t live in.

It’s been well established that kids for their healthy development need outside play. As this city densifies and people no longer can afford to have backyards, public green space will become increasingly more precious.

In 2007 the Richmond Elementary campus was considered surplus to need. A good thing it was, and that the public was able to stop the sale. This campus is now needed and used as an expansion of the Lansdowne Middle School.

The trustees endorsed the Bowker Creek blueprint in 2018. It was heartening to see the enthusiasm from the school trustees of SD61. Could something like the restoration at Oak Bay High be done on the Richmond campus for the students of Lansdowne Middle School?

Now with the announcement of the sales agreement, it feels like a waste of time as there seems to be no commitment by SD61 to honour that endorsement.

There seems to be no commitment by the trustees to Bowker Creek and the learning opportunities for students at the middle school to be involved in urban creek remediation.

It is wrong of the trustees of SD61 to divest of the 1.9 acres of public green space (they don’t make any more of it) at the Lansdowne south campus. Instead, the trustees should cancel the sale. The trustees of SD61 need to show their commitment to the Bowker Creek blueprint, future learning opportunities for the students and preservation of public green space for the health of our children.

Andrea Gleichauf