New park takes flight

Former United Church camp gets new life as Moorecroft Regional Park

An eagle release was a highlight of the celebration to open Moorecroft Park

An eagle release was a highlight of the celebration to open Moorecroft Park

It was a sunny day of celebration at the official opening of Moorecroft Regional Park on Saturday afternoon, as the grassy meadow filled up with smiling families, dancing toddlers, music, cake and more.

A number of Regional District of Nanaimo board members spoke about how pleased they were to acquire the park earlier this year with the Nature Trust of B.C. and especially glad that it has a conservation covenant to ensure the natural habitat continues to be protected.

RDN Chair Joe Stanhope said the RDN has over 2,000 hectares of regional park and, combined with community parks, that adds up to 10 square miles of park.

“And we’re not finished yet,” he said, adding they would probably have to have a bit of a pause while they pay off their dues.

Nanoose Bay director George Holme told a touching story of how his young granddaughter had recently visited the park and came home in tears. When he asked why she was crying she said because she had to come home, adding “I want to spend the rest of my life at Moorecroft.”

Robin Wilson, past chair of The Nature Trust of BC and current board director, said the park is very special to her family because her daughter, son-in-law and five-day-old grand baby, who were all at the event, live right around the corner and would certainly make use of it.

She said the Nature Trust has a dream to link a corridor from the bay at Moorecroft to the top of Notch Hill in Nanoose Bay making the stretch the most significant area of coastal Douglas fir in B.C.

In the meantime The Nature Trust still needs to raise funds for their share in the acquisition of Moorecroft, Wilson said. They are aiming to raise $500,000.

“The donations will also help us do restoration work throughout the park so you and your families can enjoy it all the more,” she said.

She asked for personal donations of $100 or more to help with the acquisition and promised all donors would be issued a tax receipt.

She added the more money raised under the Nature Trust name the more impact that could be made on conservation.  

The Nanaimo and Area Land Trust handed over a cheque for $37,520 at the event for the Nature Trust’s campaign.

Following the speeches there was an eagle release by the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association, followed by cake cutting and live music by Kumbana Marimba.

Information and nature stations were spread out around the trails to educate people on the park and family activities like a treasure hunt kept kids busy seeking out the natural features in the park.

To donate to the Nature Trust of B.C. call 1-866-288-7878 or visit www.naturetrust.bc.ca and click on Moorecroft Camp under Call to Action.

 

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