The B.C. government has announced it is spending half a million dollars to expand a park on Valdes Island near Nanaimo.
The province announced eight park expansion projects on Monday, July 12, including Wakes Cove Marine Park on the northern tip of Valdes Island, close to Gabriola Island.
According to a report from B.C. Parks, the acquisition of two hectares was purchased for $535,000.
“The cove provides sheltered anchorage and this inholding has long been a desirable addition to the park,” the report noted. “This day-use marine park provides hiking trails, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.”
The province says it will now consult with First Nations governments about adding the land to the parks system, and will then proceed with further steps to protect the areas.
“Growing our park system is important. Growing our understanding about our place and nature is just as important,” said Kelly Greene, B.C. parliamentary secretary for environment, in a press release. “Increasingly, our parks offer us the opportunity to appreciate the importance of Indigenous knowledge and teachings to better understand the changes happening to the land.”
Of the eight parcels of newly acquired land, three are on Vancouver Island, with the province purchasing 39 hectares along the Cowichan River near Duncan and four hectares at Gowlland Tod Provincial Park near Victoria. The eight parcels of land are valued at $2.47 million, according to the province.