Aerial view of West Ballenas Island. (Photo courtesy the BC Parks Foundation)

Aerial view of West Ballenas Island. (Photo courtesy the BC Parks Foundation)

Community rallies to buy private island off Parksville for parkland

BC Parks Foundation successfully raises $1.7M for purchase of West Ballenas Island

The BC Parks Foundation has officially raised enough money to purchase West Ballenas Island.

Foundation CEO Andrew Day said they reached their goal of $1.7 million through community support.

“It was a combination of lots of different things; online donations and cheques. But mostly it was thousands of people donating online,” said Day.

Located just east of Parksville in the Salish Sea, West Ballenas Island is home to rare plants, threatened species and various marine life. South Ballenas Island remains Crown land held by the Government of Canada.

Day was unsure what would have happen to the island if the foundation hadn’t raised enough money for its purchase. He said he imagined the sellers would put it back up on the market and sell to developers, risking the already threatened ecosystem once again.

READ MORE: One week left to buy last unplucked gem of proposed Salish Sea marine park at a discount price

According to Day, the plan for the island involves discussions with the Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation, since the island is within Snaw-naw-as territory.

Day said the next step is for the province to begin the process of designating the island as a park, which will likely take a year given the current global COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s perfect actually, though,” said Day. “Because in the meantime we need to do some biological inventory work and just make sure it’s in good shape for people to visit.”

He said once the island is ready, the foundation plans to turn it into a public park that will likely be open to the public, though transportation will not be provided.

“It’s a pretty fragile ecosystem, so we don’t want to have it overrun by people. It’ll mostly be for sailors and people who kayak, that sort of thing.”

According to Day, conservationists will be able to control the impact people have on the island by marking certain areas as off-limits. They also intend to install anti-pollution facilities.

It marks the second time the foundation has successfully purchased property in an effort to protect endangered ecosystems.

The first time was in 2019, when the foundation purchased 2,000 acres of land in the Princess Louisa Inlet, located approximately 60 kilometres west of Pemberton along the Sunshine Coast. The cost to purchase the land in Princess Louisa Inlet was ‘crowdfunded’ for $3 million.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

BC ParksfundraisingParksville

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Strathcona Waste Management expects to go to tender this summer for the regional organics compost facility in Campbell River. File photo/Black Press
Comox Strathcona compost site should go to tender this summer

The regional organics facility is on target to open for the fall of 2022

The site of the King George Hotel in Cumberland. Photo by Mike Chouinard
VIU students research Cumberland’s past, future

Specific practicum topics were King George Hotel’s significance, densification incentives

Courtenay–Alberni MP Gord Johns says 12 million Canadians do not have dental insurance. Photo by Bofu Shaw, courtesy of Unsplash
Courtenay–Alberni MP, CDA consider dental care for all Canadians

Gord Johns has initiated a mail-out that asks constituents the date of… Continue reading

A 407 Squadron CP-140 Aurora, along with a Halifax-Class frigate enforce United Nations sanctions against North Korea in support of Op Neon in 2019. Canadian Forces photo/submitted
407 Squadron defends Canada for 80 years

The Comox-based squadron celebrating special anniversary

Jasmine Francoeur from Comox is an aviation technician for the Snowbirds air demonstration team. Photo by Canadian Forces/submitted
Comox’s Jasmine Francoeur’s career comes full circle with the Snowbirds

“To fly out here, fly into my hometown, it’s very special and I feel very lucky”

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Most Read