Wild Animal Rescue Centre in Metchosin will finally build a waterline to its property after receiving a major share of one of the largest legacy donations in BC SPCA history.
About $500,000 of a roughly $2.5 million legacy donation has been earmarked for Wild ARC’s long awaited project to connect to the regional water system. The centre, based on Malloch Road near Pedder Bay, currently trucks in its water.
John Hoole, senior manager of BC SPCA’s planned giving department, said the unexpected $2.5 million gift is the largest legacy donation he’s ever seen. Most legacy gifts fall in the range of $10,000 to $20,000.
The donor of the money, whose name has not been released, stipulated she wanted it spent in Greater Victoria and on SPCA infrastructure projects.
“This is a huge amount that enables us to support capital projects,” Hoole said. “This money will help Wild ARC with the safety and survival of wild animals and in the long run it will pay for itself.”
“The water project fits perfectly for this criteria,” said Sara Dubois, BC SPCA manager of wildlife services and who managed Wild ARC from 2004 to 2008. “We need the waterline, that’s always been our No. 1 priority. We ran out of water twice this summer.”
Wild ARC has about 22,000 litres of water delivered every two days in the summer, summing to about $25,000 per year, to help clean and care for the 2,000 animals that pass though the facility each year.
The water line will be built by the Capital Regional District starting in January or February. Wild ARC expects to have piped water is by spring 2012, the busiest season for the facility.
“Not having water on the property, no pun intended, as has been real drain on resources,” quipped Dubois, a native of Langford and a Belmont secondary grad.
Wild ARC uses water in pools for aquatic animals, to clean the facility and for drinking water. The timing of the legacy fund couldn’t be better – the centre is currently building a $100,000, 1,500-square-foot aquatics facility featuring five rehabilitation pools.
Once the centre has piped water, Dubois said the water bill will be fraction of what it is now. “Then the extra money can go to food for the animals.”
Wild ARC has been working towards getting piped water since 2006. The non-profit was told connecting to the closest regional waterline would cost $400,000. “I didn’t see any other grants significant enough to get the $400,000. The only option was waiting for a gift,” Dubois said.
Wild ARC’s waterline will connect to a dead-end of an existing pipe under Liberty Drive. Once the work begins this winter, the project will take about six to eight weeks to complete.
“We hopefully want our neighbours to tap into the line and pay some of the portion,” Dubois said. “We want to put it in and share it.”
In 2007 most residents on Malloch road and a few on Liberty Drive agreed to collectively chip in 20 per cent of the cost and Wild ARC would cover the remainder. Some residents also truck in water to their homes.
Hooking up to regional water will raise the homes’ property values and lower fire insurance rates, Dubois said.
“This only happening because someone supported us,” Dubois said. “This is something that has been in the works for years. The reality is we could not have done this alone.”