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HomeNewsRegional Nanaimo estuary $300,000 away from multi-million preservation goal

Regional Nanaimo estuary $300,000 away from multi-million preservation goal

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A program to preserve one of the Regional District of Nanaimo’s estuaries is looking for its final push over the financial finish line.

“We are thrilled to announce we have entered into a purchase and sale agreement with French Creek House for the purchase of 18 acres of land in this estuary,” says Dr. Andy Day, CEO of the BC Parks Foundation. “As part of that agreement, they have generously agreed to gift $3,280,000 of land value if we can raise the remaining funds.”

The land around French Creek is valued at $5,180,000, and with $1 million donated by Age of Union Alliance’s Dax Dasilva, $200,000 donated by the Save Estuary Land Society and Friends of French Creek Conservation Society, and $400,000 donated by the Regional District of Nanaimo, the remaining cash required hit less than half a million dollars.

The BC Parks Foundation will be running a crowdfunding campaign until April 10th, and more information about donating can be found here.

From left to right; Lehann Wallace (Regional District), Quinn Rysdale (French Creek House), Dr Andy Day (BC Parks), (unsure) Chief Gordon Edwards (Snawnawas First Nation), and Denice Foster (Save Estuary Land Society). Photo provided by Ridley Wilson, Vista Radio Staff.

French Creek House director Quinn Griesdale said he and his board of directors realized in 2017 what the greenspace brought to the people who surrounded it, and his ideas of preservation aligned with the community’s.

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“We’re doing it,” said Griesdale when asked what the hopes for the future were. “These are the hopes. What we need to continue to do as a society is protect these pockets and make sure our kids and their kids can enjoy it as well.”

The French Creek estuary and eagle sanctuary is regarded by the Save Estuary Land Society as one of the more ‘forgotten’ estuaries compared to the other two, which have higher amounts of people around them.

The estuary is home to multiple at risk species, particularly eagles, which occasionally flew overhead during the announcement ceremony & tour of the estuary trail on February 24th. The estuary is also a hotspot for bird watchers and photographers.

The full audio from the ceremony, alongside interviews with Griesdale, Regional District of Nanaimo’s Area G Director Lehann Wallace, and Chair of the Save Estuary Land Society’s Denice Foster is available below.

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