Saanich Parks has added a new park to its inventory with the addition of 1.5-hectare Kardum Park at 310 Ivor Rd. in West Saanich.
The undeveloped land came available when the Kardum family recently contacted Saanich about selling it. It happens to sit adjacent to four undeveloped Saanich lots and rights of ways. All merged, it will create a natural park of about 2.8 hectares.
With the adjacent lots, and the chance to connect the local parks by a road and trail network, including Logan and Quicksbottom, the purchase was one of opportunity, said Saanich senior parks manager Eva Riccius.
“It’s one of these things that happen across your desk, from time to time,” Riccius said. “When it came available it was very interesting to us, as it has Saanich-owned lots adjacent, making a decent-sized parcel into big parcel, that’s a win for you.”
Following an independent appraisal the land was purchased for $650,000.
(Inset image: Google Maps)
However, not everyone supports the purchase, as Mayor Richard Atwell says it’s an unnecessary addition to Saanich’s park portfolio.
“I believe that area is over served by parks where there are three [Goy, Logan and Calvert parks], plus Layrtiz and its walking trails, all in a rurally populated area,” Atwell said. “The acquisition of this park wasn’t in the parks planning, and it was decided on without public consultation, which I think there should have been.”
Furthermore, the initial expenditure won’t be the end cost, Atwell added, as there will be further costs to create a network of trails.
Regardless, Kardum becomes Saanich’s 171st park. The name, Riccius said, comes as part of the deal with the Kardum family that has owned the land over the past generation.
“Saanich is always looking at ways to improve our already impressive system of parks and natural areas for current and future generations to enjoy,” said Coun. Susan Brice, chair of the Parks, Trails and Recreation committee. “This land is in a wonderful natural state, with very few invasive species and an abundance of wildlife such as owls, amphibians and small mammals.”
The parkland itself features a mature fir forest, rocky Garry oak outcrops, and a seasonal stream. Riccius visited the property last week and spotted two barred owls.
Riccius said a trail through Kardum Park will help connect a trail system from Francis King Regional Park to Layritz and Quicksbottom parks, and form future trail connections leading to Camosun College and Vancouver Island Technology Park.