On February 14, 2011, TLC The Land Conservancy of BC met with 24 community members from North and South Pender Island to discuss the acquisition of the Buchanan property, joining Brooks and Gowlland Point. This acquisition is the last part of a three phase plan to complete community’s original vision for Brooks Point Regional Park.
During the meeting community members shared their personal stories and values of the area as well as their concerns about its future. It was described as a special place to take visitors, old friends, new loves, children and grandchildren. A place of precious memories preserved by a rare landscape that remains unchanged by time.
In 2002, TLC began negotiations with the Buchanan family to ensure that this important future parkland would not be lost. Over the intervening years TLC worked with the owners and in 2010 acquired an option to purchase. In November 2010, after carefully considering this opportunity the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board borrowed funding to purchased the property for $1,650,000. In support of the purchase, TLC has committed to raise $215,000 to cover the interest which the CRD will incur until funds are available from its Parks Levy in 2015.
The CRD’s intent, is if possible, to recover all or a portion of the $1.65M it borrowed to purchase the property by selling a portion of it after linking the two existing parcels. At the same time the CRD Parks department is to undertake a consultation process to determine the future of the land and to determine how much of this critical parcel that the region can afford to purchase. The CRD Board has kept all of its options open including the sale of all or part of this land to recover all or a part of the cost of the purchase. The CRD Parks department are scheduled to be on the island in March to begin the consultation and expect to deliver their recommendations to the CRD Board in September.
“Both TLC and the Pender residents we met with feel it is vital that the entire Buchanan property be included in the Brooks Point Regional Park. We found a solution that is completely in line with the community’s original vision for this special place,” says TLC Executive Director, Bill Turner.
Rather than just raising funds to cover interest for the CRD purchase, TLC will follow its normal funding arrangement with CRD Parks in acquiring new parkland – a 65% / 35 % split in which TLC’s share with the interest brings the total to $700,000.
“We are certain that a strong investment by TLC and the community through such a successful fundraising initiative will strengthen the community’s position in shaping the park by reducing the CRD’s need to subdivide to recoup the loan”, says Turner.
In partnership with the community, TLC is launching a campaign in support of the vision for full park protection at Brookes Point.
TLC will work with the community and its partners the Pender Island Conservancy Association (PICA), as well as anyone else who loves this special place including off islanders who have an interest in South Pender and the Gulf Islands. The money will be raised by individual donations and pledges, by events both on and off island.
Supporters of the full protection option for Brooks Point Regional Park are encouraged to send their tax deductible donations to TLC or PICA and identify that funds are for Brooks Point. Donate today!