Victoria, BC- The Capital Regional District Board has approved the continuation of the successful Regional Parks’ Land Acquisition Fund for an additional ten years. The fund will increase from $12 to $20 per average household assessed value over the next five years (2010-2014) at a rate of $2 per year and be maintained at $20 to 2019.
“The lands acquired for the regional parks and trails system through this fund contribute significantly to the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the region,” said Board Chair Geoff Young. “It is a defining ingredient of the region, which is expected to increase in population by more than 30 percent over the next 30 years.”
The Land Acquisition Fund was initially established in 2000 for a ten year period based on a rate of $10 per average household assessed value. The fund, and land acquired for the regional parks and trails system, is based on the vision and strategic direction in the Regional Parks’ Master Plan.
During the past decade, the CRD has acquired 2,968 hectares of the region’s prime natural areas, valued at $30,704,000. The CRD contributed $20,149,000 (66 percent) and partner organizations contributed $10,555,000 (34 percent). The increase in the fund for 2010-2019 will result in $2 million to $3.2 million available per year for land acquisitions and $30 million over the entire ten year period.
Work on the Regional Parks’ Strategic Plan (an update of the Master Plan) has begun and is planned for completion at the end of this year. This plan will set the vision for the next ten years for the regional parks and trails system and will identify additional areas of park potential for the Land Acquisition Fund.
“The Land Acquisition Fund has received strong municipal and public support,” said CRD Parks Committee Chair Christopher Causton. “We’ve purchased land to establish the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt and added land to the Galloping Goose, Horth Hill, Sooke Potholes, Thetis Lake, Mount Work, Island View Beach, Witty’s Lagoon and Mill Hill regional parks, to name but a few. We’ve also acquired land on the Gulf Islands. These regional parks and trails provide opportunities for people living in both urban and suburban areas to connect with nature.”
CRD Parks protects and manages more than 11,500 hectares of accessible natural areas in 30 regional parks and trails on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. In addition to contributing to the overall quality of life enjoyed by Capital Regional District residents and creating outstanding recreation experiences, these parklands protect ecosystems, provide habitat for plants and animals, and support the natural cleansing of water and air. Regional Parks also contribute to the economy and tourism; walking, hiking and visiting parks are the top three activities enjoyed by visitors to the Capital Region.
Land Acquisition Summary, 2000-2009
Land Acquisition Map, 2000-2009
For further information please contact:
Laurie Sthamann, Communications Coordinator
CRD Regional Parks
Tel: 250.360.3332 | cell: 250.889.8030