The Capital Regional District has purchased forested land totalling 9.8 hectares from View Royal to expand Mill Hill Regional Park.
The CRD spent a total of $927,500 on the land, which contains Douglas-fir forest and arbutus stands.
“Mill Hill Regional Park is one of the most significant Garry Oak sites in the region and represents one of the highest concentrations of plant species at risk in British Columbia,” said Colin Plant, CRD board chair in a news release.
“This additional land helps to complete the Mill Hill Regional Park boundary and acts as a protective buffer for some of the high-value rare plant species found there.”
According to the CRD, the Town of View Royal approached the regional district to sell the lands. The Town plans to reinvest the funds to purchase other parkland.
“This sale to the CRD simply makes a lot of sense,” said David Screech, mayor of View Royal in a news release.
“It ensures continued public ownership of open space and the long-term management and maintenance by an organization that is well-equipped to take on this responsibility – a win-win not only for View Royal’s residents, but also for those in the entire region.”
This park, along with the entire South Island, is part of the Coastal Douglas-fir Biogeoclimatic Zone which contains several at-risk species and ecosystems. Millstream Creek also borders the park, which plays important roles in nutrient cycling, downstream fish habitat, and water management.
This land was purchased through the Land Acquisition Fund, which was established in 2000 to purchase parklands across the regional district. The CRD says approximately 4,800 hectares have been purchased through the fund since it was established.