Nanoose Bay’s Moorecroft Camp has been secured by the Regional District of Nanaimo and The Nature Trust of B.C. and the land will be turned into a regional park, RDN Chairperson Joe Stanhope announced at the site Tuesday morning.
As a condition of sale by the B.C. Conference of the United Church of Canada, the property will have a conservation covenant to protect over 90 per cent of the land base, including the forested lands and wetlands that are listed as endangered or vulnerable.
“We are fortunate that the Regional District of Nanaimo was able to secure this property and to ensure that the environmental features that made it such an ideal camp can now be protected as a regional park,” said Stanhope.
The 85-acre oceanfront property was listed at $7.95 million in September 2010, the final price agreed on by the parties is $4.8 million.
“On March 2nd, the RDN will take ownership of these very special lands which will be known as Moorecroft Regional Park,” Stanhope said, adding with a smirk, “and the logging will start on the third.”
Joking aside, Stanhope said negotiations of this magnitude undertaken in such a short amount of time is “miraculous.” As part of the purchase agreement with the RDN, The Nature Trust is launching a fundraising campaign to contribute $500,000 of the purchase price.
The land will mark 12th regional park within the Regional District of Nanaimo.
Stanhope said he is especially proud to be part of a community that so strongly believes in the preservation of park land.
“You’ve given the board an indication and this is why we went to task,” he said to the crowd of about 40. “Because we had overwhelming support from the public at large.”
Prior to The United Church of Canada’s purchase of the property in 1955, it was run as an all-girls camp. The United Church began running it as a summer camp and finally as a year-round camp for retreats, school and community groups.
To help the Nature Trust of B.C. reach their contribution price of $500,000 visit their website www.naturetrust.bc.ca and click on Moorecroft Camp under call to action.