The Habitat Acquisition Trust’s campaign to raise $1.4 million toward the purchase of Mountain Road Forest in Saanich for a new regional park is in its final days. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Habitat Acquisition Trust’s campaign to raise $1.4 million toward the purchase of Mountain Road Forest in Saanich for a new regional park is in its final days. (Black Press Media file photo)

Campaign to buy Saanich’s Mountain Road Forest nears deadline

Habitat Acquisition Trust hopeful of raising final $368,000 of $1.4-million goal by July 20

The Habitat Acquisition Trust has a week left in its fundraising efforts for Mountain Road Forest, with over $1 million raised so far to purchase the Saanich greenspace.

A Saanich family has owned the forested property for almost 50 years and has agreed to sell the property to the CRD, in partnership with the Trust, so it can be permanently designated an urban forest park. The CRD has committed $2 million towards the purchase.

HAT said endangered ecosystems like the one which makes up this forest are rarely found so close to major urban areas. It includes a mature Douglas fir forest and the stream running through the property forms part of the headwaters of the Colquitz River system.

RELATED STORY: CRD, Habitat Acquisition Trust to spend $3.4M on 20-hectare forest park in Saanich

“We just need a bit more help to ensure that this beautiful sanctuary ends up as a new park in Saanich, preserved in its unaltered state in perpetuity,” Trust executive director Katie Blake said in a release.

More than half of the money raised so far has come in donations smaller than $5,000 from people living in Greater Victoria.

Community members who utilize the area recognize the ecological and recreational role the forest plays in their lives, since many walk and tend to the trails, the release stated.

“We’ve been so touched by how many folks have given really significantly, including school groups and neighbourhoods cooperating on fundraisers like bottle drives,” Blake said.

She is optimistic the overall target goal of $3.4 million – which requires raising another $368,0000 – will be achieved in the remaining days of the campaign. To donate or learn more visit mountainroadforest.ca

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