Celebratory hike to mark successful addition to Mount Erskine ParkAugust 17, 2021
VANCOUVER, B.C., AUGUST 2021 – This summer, a unique partnership between the BC Parks Foundation, BC Parks, and local volunteers and donors successfully purchased a privately held 2.5-acre triangular parcel of land, allowing continued public access to Mount Erskine Provincial Park and its spectacular views of the Salish Sea.
“It is great how everyone worked so closely together to expand Mt. Erskine Provincial Park – especially the volunteers and donors,” says Andy Day, CEO of the BC Parks Foundation. “Their gift will fill the hearts and souls of everyone who experiences that magnificent view, for generations to come.”
This purchase was spearheaded by the volunteer efforts of dedicated Salt Spring Islanders - most notably Charles Kahn and Gary Quiring, who were steadfast champions and fundraisers. Betty-Ann Kruger and Sheryl Taylor-Munro also helped with grant applications. The BC Parks Foundation handled receiving donations as well as receipting and outreach to significant donors, one of whom was able to come up with a large donation at the last minute to complete the project. Finally, BC Parks handled the purchase agreement and will formalize the addition to Mt. Erskine Provincial Park.
“We are happy to announce the successful fundraising of this land in concert with the BC Parks Foundation and donations from Salt Spring Islanders to save a well-loved trail corridor,” says Kahn.
“We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to making this happen,” says Quiring, who says they had a very positive response from islanders over several months of phone calls, emails, and word of mouth requests.
The purchase secures the trail connection between Manzanita Ridge Nature Reserve and Mt. Erskine Provincial Park for park visitors. Additionally, the property offers several beautiful viewpoints, both to the north over the ocean and to the south over the Shepherd Hills and the magnificent Cranberry Valley, that will enrich the park - and require no new trail construction.
Mount Erskine Park on Salt Spring Island is a lush area with a network of trails that lead through a diverse array of ecosystems. Old-growth forests and wetlands support many species at risk and include provincially threatened coastal Douglas-fir forests and the red-listed arbutus-hairy manzanita plant community. Along with the stunning nature the trail winds through, hikers are rewarded with breathtaking views of Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and everything in between.
“Many people are passionate about parks and that passion is reflected through the tremendous fundraising efforts by community members to expand Mount Erskine Provincial Park,” says Parliamentary Secretary Kelly Greene. “Thanks to the unique partnership between the BC Parks Foundation, local volunteers and donors, hikers will be able to enjoy the many spectacular viewpoints that make a visit to Mount Erskine Park such a memorable experience.”
The public is invited to commemorate the purchase by joining some of the volunteers and staff on a celebratory hike on Trustees Trail. Local craftsman, Donald McLennan, has donated his time to create a beautiful cedar bench which will be officially unveiled at this event. Interested attendees are asked to RSVP through the Ticket Tailor event.
Mount Erskine Park visitors can show gratitude to everyone involved, and the land, by keeping the park clean and beautiful, staying on trail, and avoiding feeding wildlife. With the hot dry summer, visitors are also reminded to prevent any risk of wildfire.
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The BC Parks Foundation inspires British Columbians and our friends around the world to enhance parks through a spirit of gratitude and well-being. For more info visit bcparksfoundation.ca.
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In 2015 I bought myself a camera and decided to get out in the wilderness away from cell/internet range. As I slowed down and watched and listened, a whole new world appeared. The wilderness and its wild animals had many lessons for me. Nature nourishes and teaches us patience. Nothing in nature is rushed. It is divine timing: everything happens when it’s time.”