Gabriola Island gets addition to parkland

Photo courtesy of the RDN.
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The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) has added nine acres of parkland to a Gabriola Island park. The 707 Community Park is the second-largest park in the RDN and is now 1,052 acres. 

“The RDN listened to the community’s interests and together with the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust, who provided a generous donation, the RDN was able to make the parkland purchase,” said Rebecca Taylor, communications coordinator for the RDN in a press release.

The property officially became part of the park on Oct. 9. The existing 707 Community Park management plan will provide direction for the new parkland addition, according to Taylor.

She said the parkland addition will provide increased ecological protection to Coats Marsh watershed, a rare and ecologically sensitive freshwater wetland.

“This wetland is the primary management focus of neighbouring Coats Marsh Regional Park. The new property also connects an existing, well‐used trail, formalizing a 2.3 km trail loop in the southern quadrant of the park,” she said.

There were 136 hectares added to the community park through the Church/Spruce Road rezoning project in 2018. This process resulted in a 3.64‐hectare parcel being excluded from the park. Due to community interest in having this property added to the park, Islands Trust required the developer to provide the right of first refusal to purchase the land to the RDN, according to Taylor. 

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