Sisters of Saint Ann Donate Land Adjacent to East Sooke Regional Park

Jun 29, 2015

Victoria, BC– The Sisters of Saint Ann has generously donated a parcel of land adjacent to East Sooke Regional Park to the Capital Regional District (CRD).

“We want to extend our appreciation to the Sisters of Saint Ann for their benevolent contribution to the residents of the district,” said CRD Board Chair Nils Jensen. “They have provided a prudent investment for the public which leaves a legacy for future generations. It also directly contributes to the ecological integrity of the park.”

This 23-hectare (57 acre) parcel is located in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, adjacent to East Sooke Regional Park, near Anderson Cove on the Sooke Basin. The parcel features 300 metres of frontage along East Sooke Road, and includes a forested hillslope. It was assessed in 2014 by BC Assessment at $587,000.

“This acquisition will help to preserve the cultural value of this area, protect a wide variety of plants and animals, and contribute to the protection of green space,” said Susan Brice, CRD Regional Parks Committee Chair. “It is the traditional territory of Coast Salish peoples, and continues to hold special significance for T’Sou-ke and Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nations.”

"We are pleased to gift this parcel to the Capital Regional District to be incorporated into the East Sooke Regional Park," said Sister Marie Zarowny, Province Leader for the Sisters of Saint Ann. "This gift supports our continuing commitment to respect the traditional territory of the Coast Salish People and to preserve the environment; it is also a way of contributing, in perpetuity, to the health and well-being of the people of Greater Victoria and surrounding area."

The property was purchased in the late 1950s as part of a larger parcel in the Sooke basin that included Glenairley, which the Sisters used as a place of relaxation. Glenairley is now a training base for the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. The parcel is located adjacent to Anderson Cove within the park. Anderson Cove is a popular starting point for hikes to Babbington Hill and Mount Maguire, where visitors often see bald eagles, turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks.  The parcel complements the natural and recreational opportunities found in East Sooke Regional Park, while providing an important green space buffer from nearby development areas.

 East Sooke Regional Park, a regional wilderness area, is now 1,457 hectares with this addition. It is one of the largest regional parks, providing a popular outdoor recreation destination for local residents and tourists. The Regional Park received more than 145,000 visits in 2014 and features over 50 kilometres of trails, exceptional marine bird and mammal viewing, and spectacular views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic mountains.

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The CRD is a local government that delivers 200+ regional, sub-regional and local services for residents of the region which includes 13 municipalities and three electoral areas within 2370 square kilometres on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD is working to serve the public, and build a vibrant, livable and sustainable region.

The Sisters of St. Ann are a Roman Catholic Congregation of women religious who were founded in Quebec in 1850. They have been active in healthcare and education in the Pacific Northwest for the past 157 years.

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Laurie Sthamann
CRD Regional Parks
Tel: 250.360.3332 | Cell: 250-889.8030