SAVARY ISLAND, B.C. – They had a goal, and have achieved it.
A group dedicated to the preservation of Savary Island has reached its pledge donations goal towards the purchase of a parcel of land on the island.
“We’ve been busy raising funds and getting the pledges in, and at the end of this month, the deal is going to close and more than one third of Savary (Island) is going to be protected,” said Liz Webster, the Executive Director of the Savary Island Land Trust Society.
The society has been working in partnership with a group known as Friends of Savary Island, and the Nature Trust of B.C., who will purchase the land.
The land includes one third of Savary Island. The trust will take care of the maintenance of the area.
“This sort of started out as their idea about twenty years ago, but our idea (the Land Trust Society) was always to involve a larger organization,” Webster said.
“The parcel itself is 350 acres. It’s 12,000 feet of waterfront and contains a lot of rare sand ecosystems, and ancient Douglas fir forest.”
She said the parcel of land has been threatened by development since the 1980s, and the Land Trust Society was founded in 1997.
“Saving this land was really the catalyst for starting our charity,” Webster explained.
The purchase of the land will cost around $4 million. The real estate deal is set to close on May 30th, and then the Nature Trust will develop a management plan for the land, in partnership with the Land Trust Society.
“I think the main thing to do right now is to celebrate,” Webster said.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the way the whole community has come together to make this happen, we’re really grateful for the work of the Friends of Savary Island, and all of our donors and volunteers, especially our board volunteers who have served the organization for twenty years to make this happen.”
Webster said they’re continuing fundraising efforts for the Nature Trust of B.C. to enhance an endowment fund, with money going towards future conservation efforts on the island.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the group’s efforts can visit the Savary Island Land Trust Society’s website.