Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has approved a ten year extension of the Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund (LAF) until 2029. The fund helps the CRD acquire and conserve significant areas for regional park purposes. The fund has a successful history of working with community partners to purchase parkland and will continue to seek opportunities for future partnerships to leverage funding and increase acquisitions.
“The Board is committed to ensuring the continued success of the Land Acquisition Fund,” said CRD Board Chair Colin Plant. “We are in a climate emergency and one of our top priorities is to preserve greenspace for future generations.”
The fund will be renewed at a levy of $20 per average residential household assessment, an amount that was established in 2014. The CRD’s provisional budget for 2020 includes an additional $925,000 that will be requisitioned each year for capital reserves to fund the refurbishment and replacement of existing regional park assets, such as bridges, trestles, buildings and other infrastructure. Final approval of the budget will be in March 2020.
Highlights of acquisitions over the last several years include: 11 hectares of parkland near Mary Lake in the District of Highlands, 27 hectares at Saint John Point on Mayne Island, a 15 hectare addition to Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park in 2017, a 28 hectare addition to Mount Work Regional Park in 2018 and more than 150 hectares of parkland acquired adjacent to Thetis Lake and Sea to Sea Regional Parks in 2019.
Since the fund was established in 2000, the regional parks system has grown from just over 8,400 hectares to over 13,000 hectares in 2019. The Regional Parks Land Acquisition Strategy provides the CRD Board with a road map for acquiring land to add to the regional parks and trails system. It is guided by the CRD Regional Parks Strategic Plan.
In 2018, the CRD ran an online public opinion survey that showed 89% of participants were in favour of extending the LAF for another 10 years and 77% of respondents supported using the fund to buy parkland, even if facilities for public use might not be developed for many years.
For additional information on the LAF, please visit: https://www.crd.bc.ca/parks-recreation-culture/parks-trails/crd-regional-parks/land-acquisition-fund
Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications