The City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo have announced they’ve purchased 99.1 hectares of land to be preserved as part of two neighbouring parks.
The lands will join parks already established at Westwood Lake and Mount Benson.
“It’s a great opportunity for the Regional District of Nanaimo and the City of Nanaimo and the guests that come to the area,” said Tom Osborne, the RDN’s general manager of recreation and parks.
On Friday, the City of Nanaimo and Regional District of Nanaimo announced the purchase of three blocks of land from Mosaic Forest Management.
“You can now hike from lakeshore to mountain top, so it’s just a really exciting opportunity for people who like to go into the outdoors and recreate,” said Osborne.
Nanaimo’s mayor says the purchase is a real win for the city.
“We have become a real hot spot for mountain biking and the acquisition of these three parcels as I say creates this amazing network now of potential users, boost for tourism, local recreation,” said Mayor Leonard Krog.
The RDN secured two of the blocks totalling 78.9 ha at a cost of $2.96 million and the City of Nanaimo purchased the third 20.2 ha block for $1.25 million.
The prices were based on both timber and land market values.
“These kinds of purchases take a long time. Appraisals, secrecy, trying to ensure that we get to a deal that’s reasonable and fair for everyone. I think price-wise it’s established through an independent appraisal process. It’s an outstanding acquisition for everyone,” said Krog.
The Nanaimo Area Land Trust brought the purchase suggestion to the civic governments years ago when logging plans appeared in the region and its executive director says it’s great to see that elected officials acted.
“It’s been a long time coming and it was really great to hear that announcement,” said Paul Chapman.
“What makes a great community is having that balance of residential, commercial, industrial and natural areas and this brings us closer to that balance.”
The two parks now boast a combined 500 hectares of land, 100 hectares larger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park. It’s a public asset that will be used for generations to come.
Earlier this year, the City of Nanaimo announced it was making upgrades to the Westwood Lake Park parking lot.