Mill Hill Regional Park is growing by 9.8 hectares after the Capital Regional District purchased four parcels of land from the Town of View Royal.
The parcels cost a total of $927,500, according to a CRD news release, and are filled with coastal Douglas fir and arbutus.
“Mill Hill Regional Park is one of the most significant Garry oak sites in the region and represents one of the highest concentrations of plant species at risk in British Columbia,” said Colin Plant, CRD board chair. “This additional land helps to complete the Mill Hill Regional Park boundary and acts as a protective buffer for some of the high-value rare plant species found there.”
The coastal Douglas fir biogeoclimatic zone is home to a significant number of species and ecosystems at risk, of which many are ranked globally as imperiled or critically imperiled. These parcels also span both the Craigflower and Millstream Creek watersheds, which play important roles in nutrient cycling, downstream fish habitat, and water management.
The transaction came after the town approached the CRD with an interest in selling the land and merging it with the park. View Royal plans on investing the funds from the sale to acquire other parkland within the town.
“This sale to the CRD simply makes a lot of sense,” said View Royal Mayor David Screech. “It ensures continued public ownership of open space and the long-term management and maintenance by an organization that is well-equipped to take on this responsibility – a win-win not only for View Royal’s residents, but also for those in the entire region.”
The new parkland is the latest of some 4,800 hectares of land the CRD has acquired since 2000 through the Land Acquisition Fund.
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