2012 sees us underway with the challenge of acquiring a 47-acre forested property that is the watershed for the water supply of the Magic Lake Community. We have been advised by Nature Conservancy Canada that we were chosen as recipients of a grant in the amount of $458,000 towards this purchase. This is a “matching” grant, so we must now come up with matching funds to complete the purchase. A grant application has been submitted to the RBC Blue Water Project for a similar amount. It will also be necessary to raise an endowment fund of approximately $116,000, with ongoing interest from the fund going towards managment & maintenance of the land.
Shingle Creek Watershed Acquisition Report – March 18, 2012
The Shingle Creek Watershed is the approximately 17.4 hectare (43 acre) portion of Lot 1, Section 10, Pender Island, Cowichan District property otherwise known as the Hunt property on North Pender Island. Most of the watershed drains into Shingle Creek, the major water supply for the Buck Lake reservoir, providing the potable water supply for Magic Lake Estates and aquifer replenishment for drilled wells on South Otter Bay Road and parts of Browning Harbour.
The North Pender Island Community has been given the opportunity by the owner to purchase the property or a portion of the property prior to real estate listing. The Shingle Creek Watershed Acquisition Committee (previously known as the Shingle Creek Watershed ad hoc Committee), comprising representatives of the North Pender Islands Trust Committee, Capital Regional District (CRD) (Southern Gulf Islands Regional Director), Magic Lake Water and Sewer Local Services Committee, Magic Lake Property Owners Society, Pender Islands Parks and Recreation Commission (PIPRC) and Pender Islands Fire and Emergency Services, has been in communication with Mr. and Mrs. Hunt for more than four years in order to determine an appropriate mechanism through which the Watershed property could be purchased. Pender Islands Conservancy Association (PICA) joined the Committee in 2010. It was the desire of the late Mr. Hunt and is currently that of Mrs. Hunt that as much of the 92 acre property as possible - excluding the home site - could be conserved as ecologically protected parkland. Mrs. Hunt has ongoing contact with the Committee.
A property appraisal carried out in 2009 for the CRD suggested subdividing the total property into three portions: the home site of approximately 4.6 hectare (11.3 acre), the Shingle Creek Watershed of approximately 17.4 hectares (43 acres) and the Northerly and Westerly balance of the property bordering the Roe Lake portion of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of approximately 15.1 hectares (37.2 acres). A re-appraisal in 2011 paid by the PIPRC assessed the value of the Shingle Creek Watershed at $755,000. An information brochure on the proposed watershed purchase has been circulated predominately in Magic Lake Estates. A $10,000 grant-in-aid for funding of community education and initial program expenses for the project was received from the CRD in 2011.
In the Fall of 2011 PICA assumed the role of obtaining financing for the purchase of the Watershed property and acquiring title in the event of closing the purchase. A successful application was made to the Nature Conservancy of Canada joint Federal Partnership Program which has resulted in a grant of $458,125 toward the total project costs of $916,000. These project costs include the establishing of a $116,000 Stewardship Endowment Fund as required by the NCC, land transaction costs, surveying, legal costs, etc. In February 2012 PICA submitted an application to the RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Watershed Purchase Fund for matching funding over two years. A decision is expected on this application before July 31, 2012.
On March 11, 2012 a Letter of Intent to Purchase the Shingle Creek Watershed Property conditional upon funding was forwarded to Mrs. Hunt.
Shingle Creek Watershed Acquisition Report – June 20, 2012
Following further contact with the owner of the Shingle Creek Watershed, communication has resumed on the possibility of purchase of the property.
Shingle Creek Watershed Acquisition Update - July 4th, 2012
Following renewed contact with the vendor, discussions on the purchase of the Shingle Creek Watershed by PICA recommenced. The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve also expressed interest in forming a partnership with PICA with the purpose of purchasing the other watershed on the property which adjoins and includes a sensitive area of the Roe Lake portion of the National Park Reserve, subject to PICA receiving grant funding for the Shingle Creek Watershed.
Unfortunately matching grant funding for the already approved Nature Conservancy of Canada grant of $458,125 was not approved by the RBC Blue Water Leadership Watershed Project. Hence the proposed purchase was unable to proceed.
Chair, Shingle Creek Watershed Acquisition Committee
Pender Island Conservancy Association