Guardians of Mary Lake, First Nations elder, supporters, MPs and local political leaders gathered to celebrate the acquisition of the Mary Lake property. The Caledonia Pipe Band added to the ceremony, piping in the platform party and entertaining the crowd.
Liz Bicknell, President of the Outdoor Club of Victoria presented a cheque for $2000 from the club. The funding provides a boost for the protection of original Coastal Douglas Fir ecosystem at Mary Lake.
“Our club has been hiking since 1942 and it is vital to us that these precious ecosystems with their varied trails are preserved so our kids and grandkids can have the opportunities we enjoy to hike and experience nature”, said Bicknell.
The Coastal Douglas Fir ecosystem is tiny, the smallest eco-zone in BC but it holds a greater selection of plant and animal life than any other ecosystem in the province. Some Calypso Orchids were on display but the property has yet to fully bloom given the very chilly weather.
The acquisition of the Mary Lake property will create 73 acres of public space which includes a 7 acre lake, creeks, wetlands and surrounding natural forest.
“It is especially significant to our club that we are able to make this contribution as we celebrate our 75th Anniversary this year,” added Bicknell.
By adding these lands at Mary Lake it will mean the completion of the missing link in a 25 km trail loop. The loop will eventually join Thetis Lake, Gowland Tod and Mount Work Parks.
“It’s always wonderful to see the returns from Hosted Organizations out being used to better the community,” said Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO. “Add to that the spirit of cooperation at work here and we’re delighted to be a part of this story.”