Land conservation deal respects wishes of Comox Valley naturalist

The natural area of a rural Comox property will be protected into the future, thanks a recently signed conservation covenant.

THE COMOX VALLEY Land Trust's Jack Minard

The natural area of a rural Comox property will be protected into the future, thanks a recently signed conservation covenant.

The St. Joseph’s General Hospital Foundation and the Comox Valley Land Trust (CVLT) signed the covenant for the two-acre Hawkins Road property, which was willed to the hospital in 1991 by Phyllis Capes. In her will, Capes stipulated the natural state of the property, which features woodland and wetland area, be protected and the land never be subdivided.

According to St. Joseph’s General Hospital Foundation board president Patti Fletcher, the Foundation hopes to sell the property to gain funding for hospital needs, but it first wanted to ensure Capes’ wishes were respected.

“I personally am really, really pleased that we were able to come together and balance the wishes of Phyllis Capes in her will and to meet the needs of the hospital, as well,” says Fletcher. “It was really important for me to ensure that the integrity of the Foundation was recognized — that we were really honouring her will and her wishes 20 years later, that was really important to us.”

The CVLT will monitor the property annually to ensure it remains in its natural vegetative state — including monitoring it for invasive species — something CVLT executive director Jack Minard is happy to do.

“We are very pleased the CVLT is able, with this covenant, to extend the conservation values and create a designated biodiversity corridor with the creation of the Phyllis Capes Covenant,” says Minard in a news release. “Without a doubt this partnership has been a win-win for both parties.”

An heritage home is located on the property, which was used for 20 years to assist with locum accommodation and other hospital uses. Ownership of the property was transferred from the hospital to the SJGH Foundation in 2011

Fletcher notes the property could be on the market by the end of the year, though she says the Foundation has just engaged a real estate agent, and assessments and inspections need to be completed before she can say what the asking price will be.

Funds from any future sale of the property will be used by the Foundation to improve the hospital via things like new equipment and renovations.

“The Foundation’s goal is to raise funds to assist St. Joseph’s Hospital to ensure that equipment, staff education and the physical environment can be improved to the best possible standards that it can be,” says Fletcher.

Phyllis Capes was born in 1915 and died in 1996. She was an avid naturalist, and became well-known on Vancouver Island as a champion of local nature conservation, habitat protection and a sustainable environment, according to a short biography written by CVLT board member Bill Henderson.

She led many regional conservation campaigns, such as the establishment of Seal Bay Park and the conservation of McDonald Wood, and she received the Elton Anderson Award in 1978 from the Federation of B.C. Naturalists for her efforts.

“With the altruistic support of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation the majority of the wetlands and woodlands on the Phyllis Capes property will become part of the protected reserve of natural woodlands in the area,” writes Henderson. “This legacy would have greatly pleased Phyllis Capes, one of the Comox Valley’s early prominent naturalists.”

For more information about the CVLT, visit www.cvlandtrust.ca, and for more about the Foundation, visit www.cvhospitalfoundation.com.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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

Just Posted

Several local schools took part in Student Vote for the B.C. election. Black Press file photo
Students in Student Vote support NDP in Comox-Courtenay

Unlike actual vote, students in Mid Island-Pacific Rim back Greens

Father Charles has devoted his life to protecting and preserving natural habitats and has inspired generations of volunteers to work together to protect and preserve forests and rivers. Photo submitted
Valley environmentalist and Catholic priest-hermit Father Charles Brandt passes away

He devoted his life to protecting and preserving natural habitats

Carolyn and Steve Touhey came across a pod of humpback whales while on their boat Sunday, Oct. 25. Photo supplied
VIDEO: Boaters encounter pod of humpbacks near Comox

A Comox Valley family had a meeting with some humpback whales recently,… Continue reading

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Most Read