The Capital Regional District (CRD) is contributing $2 million to purchase the Mountain Road Forest property in Saanich to establish a new regional park in partnership with the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT).
The CRD plans to purchase and conserve a 20-hectare property west of Mountain Road and south of Excelsior Road for $3.4 million – $1.4 million from the HAT and the other $2 million from the Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund.
“As Victoria’s local land trust, HAT is well-positioned to deliver on this public government partnership and has full confidence that the overwhelming public affection and support for this property will translate into the charitable dollars urgently needed,” said Katie Blake, executive director of HAT.
The trust aims to raise its $1.4-million contribution by Earth Day 2021.
According to the CRD, the land is home to some of the rarest and endangered ecosystems in Canada – including mature Douglas-fire forests, Garry oak meadows and arbutus stands – and protecting these areas will play a role in renewing old-growth forests.
A spring-fed stream that cuts across the Mountain Road Forest property is connected to the Colquitz River system and at-risk species such as western screech-owl and common nighthawk are known to live in the area.
“The CRD recognizes the high conservation values of the property on Mountain Road,” said Colin Plant, CRD board chair. “This purchase is an example of working together to ensure the natural areas we enjoy today continue to benefit future generations.”
Since 2000, the CRD has purchased more than 4,800 hectares of land through the Land Acquisition Fund and contributions from partners.
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