You are hereThe Heart of Quadra's Parks is Saved!!!

The Heart of Quadra's Parks is Saved!!!


Discovery Islander, March 21 2014

Islanders have been waiting for this fabulous news. On March 10, the sale agreement between the Province and Merrill and Ring was finally signed. Octopus Islands and Small Inlet Marine Parks are now linked as one park system.

It’s been a long time coming. In 1995, 405 hectares of land owned by Merrill and Ring were identified for protection by a Provincial land use study. In 1996 when Octopus Islands Park was expanded and Small Inlet Park created the government committed to acquire this land because it lies between the two parks. In 2001, a tentative agreement fell through. When Merrill and Ring began selling off their properties on the coast in 2010, the government was persuaded to renew negotiations and a timber cruise and land survey were completed in 2011. Almost exactly two years ago in March 2012 an agreement for sale was drawn up.

It was also in March 2012 that the Save the Heart of Quadra Parks committee was formed and began work on fundraising, to show potential funders how important this area is to islanders and to make our own contribution to the purchase price. In just a few months (May to November 2012) the campaign on Quadra raised a remarkable $200,000. How amazing all of you are who contributed large and small amounts of money, who gave your energy and time and who made so many donations in kind, all of which made this a successful campaign. Very recently, Vancity Savings Credit Union contributed $34,000 for a current total of just over $234,000.

Save the Heart of Quadra Parks could not have happened without the co-operation of the Quadra Island Conservancy and Stewardship Society, co-operation which allowed contributions to be tax deductible. The society received and documented all donations and will issue tax receipts.

Committee members were Robyn Budd, Ray Grigg, Geraldine Kenny, Judy Leicester, Ken Roxburgh, Jeannette Taylor, Susan Westren and Mark Wunsch.

It was Judy, however, who kept the dream of the park alive and she who initiated the Save the Heart of Quadra Parks fundraising project. For more than a decade, she maintained the connection between the island, the company and Parks. It was her energy and commitment which carried the committee through the first months of fundraising.

Thanks to Claire Trevena and Jim Abram for their political support and to Sierra Club BC for so much publicity. BC Parks Acquisition and Conservation Branch deserve kudos for making this happen.

They persevered through all of the frustrating negotiations and failed funding attempts and finally succeeded in putting together an immensely complicated multi- partnered deal.

There will be a formal celebration with the Minister of the Environment on March 25 in Victoria. An island celebration is being planned for April or May.

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