Photo by Deborah Freeman
Community Park Land
Official Community Plan
The RDN Area 'G' Official Community Plan (OCP) has been in place since 2008. It states that "the community values the current amount of green space and outdoor recreational opportunities within Electoral Area 'G'."
The OCP also specifies the importance of "identifying new opportunities for green space preservation and acquisition."
It specifically addresses the 23 acres of land by recognizing "that the residents of French Creek desire to consider options for the acquisition of additional park land adjacent to French Creek on the lands located on the corner of Highway 19A and Columbia Drive."
It is clear that the acquisition of this land has been desired by community residents for over 10 years and that public consultation over the future of this land should be considered.
The RDN 2011 Regional Growth Strategy was exemplary in identifying key issues as follows:
"The ecosystems of the area are threatened by the impacts of growth. Of great significance are the rare Coastal Douglas Fir ecosystems which have been heavily impacted by human activity. Population growth and associate development continue to pose a threat to remaining Coastal Douglas Fir ecosystems along with other ecosystems."
"The social and economic life of human communities must be based upon a deep respect for the environment that is reflected in actions and decisions that enhance the vitality of the environment and reduce or eliminate harm because the well-being of our communities is directly reliant upon a healthy and vital environment."
Regional Growth Strategy
Community Parks and Trails
The Regional District of Nanaimo Community Parks & Trails Vision Statement defines Electoral Area 'G' as:
“A vibrant community where residents can easily access community parks and other destinations using a system of inter-connected trails that provides for recreation, social interaction, and nature appreciation.”
Establishing Park Land
The acquisition of French Creek Estuary Land provides a wonderful opportunity for the RDN to protect sensitive ecosystems, support community partnerships, enhance the health and well-being of its residents, improve livability, reduce infrastructure costs, and meet the growing public desire for natural spaces.
Protecting the Environment.
Safeguarding the natural setting and character of the community and
surrounding environmental functions.
Supporting Community Partnerships.
Encouraging community spirit and energy when implementing the strategy.
People from far and wide enjoy walking and being in nature in the 23 acres.
The 23 acres is identified in the 2008 OCP as desired park land and is supported by over 3500 petition signatures for protection (as of July 2019)
Key Landscapes & Sensitive Ecosystems:
This area is identified as a conservation priority for the diversity and importance of its sensitive ecosystems and is valued by the community for its natural beauty.
Availability for Acquisition:
The land is currently for sale by owner and listed by Remax LePage.
Opportunities that Arise:
This is a unique opportunity to acquire a "prime parcel" of land which meet the goals of the regional parks and trails system as defined by the RDN.
The RDN describes population density in Electoral Area 'G' as "very high at 145 people per square kilometer" and that"higher density makes it easier to fund and service the population with respect to community parks and trails."
They further indicate that "parks and trail systems can reduce infrastructure costs through preservation of natural watersheds.