BC Marine Parks Forever SocietyWith financial support from BC Marine Parks Forever Society and a successful local fundraising campaign, BC Parks is set to acquire land that connects two popular marine parks, a trail network and a lake at the north end of Quadra Island.

The province created Small Inlet Marine Park, on the west side of the island, and the Octopus Islands Extension Park at Waiatt Bay, to the east, in the late ‘90s, and always planned to complete the package by purchasing a 395-hectare property on the high ground between the two bays. It reached a deal with the owner in last May to acquire the land for $6,150,000 and needed public financial support to complete the sale.

BCMPFS committed $100,000 to the purchase, said president George Creek, bringing its total support for the Octopus Islands-Small Inlet parks to $350,000. Meanwhile, the Quadra-based organization Save the Heart of Quadra Parks pledged a further $200,000 and by mid-November had raised all but $10,000 of the total, with donations still arriving, said spokesperson Susan Westren.

These donations came primarily from local residents, as well as hiking clubs, kayaking clubs and operators, yacht clubs, and individual boaters from as far away as Alberta and the US, said Westren. For its part, BCMPFS supports acquisitions and improvements in BC marine parks with funds raised from yacht clubs, boating organizations and individual donors.

The new parkland includes shoreline and views of Small Inlet and Waiatt Bay, as well as part of the hiking trail to Newton Lake, a popular destination and swimming spot for boaters and other visitors to two marine parks. The purchase is expected to close at the end of December 2012.

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