Deal saves Mayne Island treasure as parkland

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A 26-hectare waterfront property known as St. John Point on Mayne Island has been secured for protection as regional parkland thanks to an agreement that will see the Capital Regional District partner with the Mayne Island Conservancy Society and American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts.

A CRD press release states the regional district will contribute $2 million towards the purchase through its Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund. The remainder of the purchase price will be funded through community fundraising coordinated by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society and a donation by the vendor.

“The CRD recognizes the high recreational and conservation values of the property on Mayne Island,” said David Howe, CRD Southern Gulf Islands electoral area director. “This purchase is an example of working together to ensure the natural areas we enjoy today continue to benefit future generations.”

“The Mayne Island Conservancy Society is thrilled to partner with CRD to acquire this wonderful property. The public funding is being matched with generous contributions from Mayne Island residents and visitors,” added Malcolm Inglis, president of the Mayne Island Conservancy. “Together we have assured the protection of this magnificent stretch of Coastal Douglas Fir landscape and over two kilometres of coastline while also adding to the common wealth of publicly accessible lands for everyone who loves the islands.”

The CRD’s participation makes possible a unique bi-national collaboration involving Canadian and American landowners, and charities from both countries.

“St. John Point will be a model for other Canadian government agencies and conservation organizations seeking a way to acquire properties owned by Americans. The landowners’ commitment to maintaining the natural character of St. John Point and willingness to donate a substantial percentage of the appraised value made this effort possible,” said Sandra Tassel from American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts.

The press release explains the property will offer residents and visitors opportunities for low-impact, oceanfront recreation including shoreline bluffs and a small pocket beach, along with an existing trail network through mature forest stands. The property will also provide protection for several sensitive ecosystems and plant communities.

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