Brooks Point at the south end of South Pender Island is one of the last remaining undeveloped coastal headlands on the Southern Gulf Islands and is a special place for close-up viewing of passing Orcas. Neighbouring Gowlland Point hosts one of the thickest west-coast concentrations of delicate chocolate lilies, interspersed with camas. Both Points have been protected since 2000, thanks to concerted efforts by several conservation groups - including the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Land Conservancy of BC (TLC), Friends of Brooks Point, and the Pender Islands Conservancy Association (PICA) - and the Capital Regional District, aided by the generosity of the Brooks family, who owned the land. But the points remain separated from one another by a small oceanfront wedge of land that is vital to the ecological integrity of the park reserve, especially its Garry Oak meadow - one of the rarest and most endangered ecosystems in Canada.
A one-time-only opportunity has arisen to complete the park reserve through the addition of a vital wedge of land, but it can happen only with a strong show of community support. When the wedge of land came up for sale in 2012, the CRD took the extraordinary (and courageous) step of borrowing $1.65 million to buy it and save it from private development. The catch is that the CRD may have to subdivide most of the new acquisition to pay down the loan - unless the Pender community finds a way to help out financially. The Land Conservancy has agreed to pay the $215,000 interest cost on the CRD loan and has initiated a provincial fundraising campaign to also help pay down the principal of the loan. PICA initiated an "on-Island" fundraising drive to assist TLC with the interest cost, demonstrate our community's commitment to secure this ecological jewel in its entirety and avoid the need for subdivision.
Paul and Monica Petrie
Co-chairs of PICA Brooks Point Completion Project
Our successful fund drive ended in the winter of 2014
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