How did Brooks Point get to be a park?
Phase I 1996
Allan Cecil Brooks (1926-2000) was a biologist and teacher who lived on South Pender Island.
Allan owned 3 undeveloped ecologically important waterfront lots on Gowlland Point Road, South Pender Island that he wanted protected from development. A group of neighbours formed Friends of Brooks Point (FOBP) and agreed to fund-raise with the support of the Pender Islands Conservancy Association (PICA). The land was appraised at $765,000. Allan agreed to donate one of the lots worth $225,000. He then entered into an agreement with FOBP who, with the support of PICA, spearheaded fundraising activities from 1996 to 2000 to raise $540,000 to purchase the other two lots.
Phase I January 2000
to a generous donation from the Brooks Family of one of the lots,
plus $200,000 from the CRD and the balance ($340,000) from
conservation organizations and supporters: Nature Conservancy of
Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-op, The Land Conservancy, Habitat
Acquisition Trust, Islands Trust Fund, Robert and Birgit Bateman, and
the Pender Island Community, Brooks Point became a CRD Regional Park
Reserve in January, 2000. The protective covenant for Brooks Point is
held jointly by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Islands Trust
Fund. It states in part: “...the lands be used and maintained in a
manner that will protect, preserve, conserve, restore and enhance the
ecosystems and native biodiversity of the lands in perpetuity.”
Phase II September 2000
Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC) and the CRD jointly purchased Gowlland
Point adjacent to Gowlland Beach, with a one third/two thirds split-
the major portion coming from the CRD Land Acquisition Fund.
Phase III November 2010
The private parcel of land that lies between Brooks Point and Gowlland Point Conservation Areas became available for purchase. The CRD had appraised the price of the lot at $1.65 million. The CRD took out a loan to acquire the property to keep it from being purchased for private development. The loan was necessary because the CRD depleted their land acquisition fund in March 2010 with a $15.8 million purchase of Sooke Hills/Jordan River lands. They retained an option to resell the land or a portion of it to recover their costs.
The TLC agreed to pay the $215,000 interest costs of the loan and was committed to raising funds to help pay down the principal of the loan through a provincial fundraising campaign.
PICA, through its Brooks Point Completion Committee, agreed to coordinate an on-island fundraising campaign to assist the TLC.
March 2011: The TLC initiated a provincial fundraising campaign to raise $700,000 (the community and conservation partners amount) to pay the interest and help pay-down the loan principal to keep the property from being subdivided.
2011: In an early 2011 consultation with neighbourhood and community members the Brooks Point Completion Committee set the following goals: 1. To retain the property in its entirety for inclusion in the Brooks Point Regional Park, and 2. To maintain the ecological values of the property in perpetuity.
In April, PICA launched a fundraising initiative on Pender to raise $150,000 in 150 days to assist TLC in meeting their fundraising goal and to maintain community input into the management of the whole park. For a year PICA worked on fundraising on-island with a concert, dance, bocce tournament, auction and dinner and sold T shirts, nature cards and other Brooks Point souvenirs at the weekly farmers market. PICA’s goal was helped by the “Pender Angel” who matched donations up to $50,000. With the goal of retaining the entire property PICA raised $152,000 in the Pender community.
2012: PICA then focused on educating visitors to the park by producing an educational brochure, an inventory of the park flora and fauna, a map and guide and a bird list. The CRD worked on trails and maintenance, put in a bike rack and erected a kiosk at the entrance to the park. September 2012: The TLC got into financial difficulty and could no longer help pay down the principal although it was able to pay the interest on the loan. PICA met with the CRD Parks Committee and proposed that the CRD remove the option to resell Phase III in return for PICA raising additional funds by December, 2014, when the loan would come due.
March, 2013: The CRD Board entered into a contribution agreement with PICA to remove the resale option on the condition that PICA raise another $150,000 by December, 2014. PICA turned over to the CRD the $152,000 already raised as payment on the principal and began a new fundraising campaign.
2013: PICA sought off-island conservation partners and supporters. HAT and ITF were asked to hold covenants on the Phase III property and both raised considerable funds to preserve the Park. PICA applied to foundations and other donor organizations. It developed a website to reach donors who do not live on Pender Island. It partnered with Poets Cove Resort on South Pender Island. A Bocce Tournament, a Golf Tournament in Victoria, Green Angels Woodchoppers donations and two legacy donations enabled two further payments to the CRD. And finally, with its application to the Habitat Stewardship Program of Environment Canada providing funding in December, the total community contribution of $300,00.00 was achieved.
Fundraising goal reached December 2013!