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New park on Cortes Island

The Strathcona Regional District is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement to purchase Whaletown Commons, a 70-acre greenspace on Cortes Island located in the center of the Whaletown community. The Regional District has been engaged in ongoing talks with Island Timberlands to purchase the property for almost five years, and is happy to say an offer of sale for $839,000 has been accepted and that the deal will close in the near future.

Whaletown Commons has long been identified as a park interest in the Cortes Island Official Community Plan. Funding for the property comes from various sources, including Strathcona Regional District Community Parks reserve funds, donations from the Whaletown Commons Society and donations from the community at large.

Noba Anderson, Regional Board Director for Area B (Cortes Island), is the third Area Director to have worked to further this initiative and dedicate funds for this purchase. Anderson acknowledges the community for their ongoing efforts to make this happen:

“I am beyond delighted that this long-standing community park priority has finally become a reality! The purchase of Whaletown Commons is a rare opportunity to secure 70 acres of green-space in the centre of a neighbourhood, and I am honoured to be part of making this happen.”

For more than 20 years, Whaletown residents have worked to protect this piece of land. Its unique elements include high forest and riparian values, a salmonoid-bearing creek that runs through the northwest corner of the property, and it provides a natural habitat for wolves and other species. By purchasing the property, the Regional District can ensure the land is preserved and managed in its natural state for park purposes.

– Contributed by the Strathcona Regional District

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