Establish a multi-use trail network and protected area on Salt Spring Island.
A park for generations to come, protecting our land for the future.
Salt Spring Community Park will be a new 75 acre park with trails for the public on the northeast slope of Hwmet’utsum/Mt. Maxwell that will support the protection of sensitive ecosystems in the neighbouring watershed and will preserve the forest from logging and development. Moving this land from private to community ownership will create the largest contiguous tract of protected land in the Southern Gulf Islands.
This is our generation’s chance to create a park for the future, today.
Preserve. Protect. Play.
Our vision is to protect this land for three primary purposes:
Conservation: to safeguard this forest from further ecological degradation, development and deforestation and bring enormous benefits to local biodiversity.
Climate Action: to protect a significant area capable of sequestering carbon for the next seven generations, a critical component of combating climate change.
Recreation: to create a specific recreational park for horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking that will reduce the ecological impact those activities are having on other areas of the island and encourage more outdoor recreation for people of all ages.
The 75-acre property is located on the northeast facing slope of Hwmet’utsum/Mt. Maxwell, and helps protect Mt. Maxwell Provincial Park, Mt. Maxwell Ecological Reserve, and Mt. Maxwell Lake – a vital water supply for Salt Spring Island. While Salt Spring Island has several protected conservation areas, the island lacks multi-use recreation opportunities that are welcoming to diverse users and outdoor learning programs. The CRD’s management plan will maintain ongoing access to this land and establish new multigenerational, opportunities for healthy, nature-based, non-motorized recreation. By creating a sanctioned, well-managed place for these healthy activities, we can also redirect users away from areas with more fragile ecosystems.
This is a unique opportunity to bring together a number of stakeholders in the Southern Gulf Islands…to unite for a common cause. We believe in the importance of this project both for cultural and conservation purposes, as this land has the potential to create an important buffer zone for the nearby watershed and other ecologically sensitive areas, and for recreational purposes.
This community park, with room for wildlife, is something that’s really been needed in Salt Spring. We have a lot of areas that are endangered high sensitivity and really not very compatible with recreational use, but this is perfect. It’s got views, it’s got wonderful trails, it’s got places for people to have picnics. It’s a wonderful addition for Salt Spring. And I think both for residents and tourists alike.
The trails on this property, where public access has been welcomed, have been used by hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians for many years. More than anything, we are concerned about what the loss of this access will mean for teenage and young adult riders who tend to have fewer healthy recreation and socialization options on the island. We are very inspired by other communities where mountain bikers and conservationists work side-by-side to protect forests and enjoy nature.