Central Saanich buying $3.2M in land to add to Butterfield Park

Central Saanich buying $3.2M in land to add to Butterfield Park
District of Central Saanich
The newly acquired land (outlined in red) is shown beside the existing Butterfield Park (shaded in light green).

The District of Central Saanich says Butterfield Park will soon grow to nearly double its current size once it finishes purchasing an 18-acre parcel of land.

On Friday, the municipality said it had negotiated an agreement to purchase 18 acres of land at 1124 Mount Newton Cross Rd., which borders Butterfield Park, at a cost of $3.2 million.

Ten acres of that land, which is heavily forested, will be added to the park, while the remaining eight acres of land, which is bare, will be sold to fund the acquisition, according to Central Saanich.

“To see a large portion of heavily forested land that borders a park come for sale is rare, and something of this magnitude is a special opportunity,” said Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor on Friday.

“At the end of the process, we are looking for this to be a cost-neutral purchase, or close to, which is a wonderful outcome for the community.”

Butterfield Park currently measures 13 acres and includes a roughly one-kilometre walking trail that connects to the two-kilometre Brown’s Wood Trail nearby.

Once the acquisition is complete, Butterfield Park will expand to 23 acres, though the municipality says it will be some time before the public can stroll through the expanded area.

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A forested area of the new land is shown. (District of Central Saanich)

The district says it will take significant time for the new space to be made ready for the public, and Central Saanich will work with local First Nations and consult with other community and environmental groups before the expanded park plans are finalized.

“Butterfield Park was made possible by a land donation for the intent of protecting and sharing the rare and exceptional beauty of the land,” said Windsor.

“We are pleased to be able to expand on this gift to the community and ensure current and future generations can also care for and enjoy this beautiful area.”

Butterfield Park was donated by Hilda Butterfield when she died in 1988.

The land had previously belonged to her parents, who purchased it in 1913.

“Hilda and her family were dedicated to the preservation of the native wildflowers and plants and wanted to see them protected,” said the district on Friday.

“The Butterfield house, barn, garage and shed were designated a municipal heritage site in 1992.”

READ ALSO: City of Victoria purchases land for future downtown park

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