On Thursday, the Capital Regional District announced it had purchased the former Royal Oak Golf Course at a price tag of $8.5 million.
The golf course property, which closed in 2015 and spans 27 acres (10.92 hectares), is located beside Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park.
The CRD says it now plans to conduct a “park values inventory” that estimates its value in three categories: recreational, environmental and cultural.
It’s also developing interim management guidelines to help guide its decisions on what to do next with the property, until a more solid, long-term plan is established for the green space.
Before a final decision on what to do with the land is made, the CRD says it will conduct public engagement on future land use.
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The regional district notes that the former Royal Oak Golf Course is adjacent to trails that connect Elk/Beaver Lake with Commonwealth Place.
It’s also a “critical habitat zone” for barn owls and has the potential to welcome more animals depending on how ecological restoration is implemented, according to the CRD.
The regional district says it also intends to work with local First Nations on its management plans for the property.
“Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park is one of the most beloved and popular parks in the region and provides a much-needed near-urban natural recreation space for CRD residents and visitors alike,” said CRD board chair Colin Plant in a release Thursday.
“Acquiring a parcel of this size adjacent to such a popular park is extremely welcome news and creates new opportunities to protect valuable green space and explore future potential uses for the land,” he said.