Moorecroft park plan needs input

Former church camp now owned by the Regional District of Nanaimo

Moorecroft Regional Park in Nanoose Bay is making plans.

Moorecroft Regional Park in Nanoose Bay is making plans.

On Saturday the public is invited to Moorecroft Regional Park in Nanoose Bay to give their input on the future of the park.

Moorecroft Regional Park was acquired by the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), in partnership with the Nature Trust of British Columbia, on March 2, 2011 from the BC Conference of the United Church of Canada. As a condition of sale by the United Church, a conservation covenant has been developed with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to ensure that the natural habitat and ecosystems there will be protected.

Kelsey Cramer, Regional Parks Planner for the RDN said they now need public input for the creation of the Moorecroft Regional Park Management Plan, which will guide the long-term management of Moorecroft.

The first opportunity for public input is an open house on Sat., Oct. 22, from noon until 4 p.m. at Kennedy Lodge in Moorecroft Regional Park.

Cramer said there will be maps on display so people can see the bigger picture and RDN parks staff will be on hand to answer questions.

The park operated as a United Church camp for over 50 years and Cramer said not everyone in the area may be familiar with the property.

She said the open house is an opportunity for the public to check out the 85-acre oceanfront property and provide some feedback.

“We are looking at everything in the park; trails, parking, signage, access and the buildings,” she admitted, adding they want to know how people use the park and what facilities are needed.

She said they will address a wide range of things including benches, tables and interpretive signs.

The RDN has established a community advisory team to help guide the development of the management plan. It is comprised of two members of the Regional Parks and Trails Advisory Committee, the RDN Electoral Area E Director, the Nanoose (Snaw’Naw’As) First Nation Chief, and representatives from the Nature Trust of British Columbia and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

The management plan will guide the operations, development and stewardship of the property, based on a comprehensive analysis of property values and public and stakeholder consultation.

Cramer said she hopes to get a lot of feedback and encourages people to express their opinions in an on line survey available on the RDN website at rdn.bc.ca/moorecroft.

She said this is the first phase in the development of Moorecroft’s 10-year management plan.  Phase one is scheduled to be complete in November 2012.

The 34-hectare site includes close to one kilometer of beach and spectacular views across Georgia Strait.

There is natural forest featuring tree species such as Western Red Cedar, Douglas-fir, Arbutus, Bigleaf Maple, Red Alder and Garry Oak.

 

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