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February 3, 2014
The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) has purchased five parcels of land comprising a portion of the Wellington Colliery railway grade as parkland for the purpose of a public trail from Royston to Cumberland.
The land extends a distance of 5.1 kilometres from Baden Road in Royston to the electoral area ‘A’/Village of Cumberland boundary. The 28 hectares of land includes the former railway grade that is currently being used as an unofficial trail amidst a second growth forest and wildlife corridor.
Acquiring these properties is consistent with the rural parks and greenways strategic plan’s 2011-2013 active priority of acquiring land for a Royston-to-Cumberland trail. It was also identified in the top 10 list of priorities by residents who attended the September 2010 open houses. Forty-six per cent of telephone survey respondents in that same year supported new trail corridors like the trail from Royston to Cumberland.
“It’s great that the regional district electoral areas have been able to establish means of funding in recent years,” said Edwin Grieve, CVRD board chair. “The parcel tax and the parkland acquisition reserve allow us to plan for and acquire strategic parcels of private land for public use as opportunities arise. That means we can support a variety of recreational opportunities important to the residents, both for now and in the future.”
“Community residents have been advocating for public ownership of these lands for more than five years,” said Bruce Jolliffe, CVRD director for Baynes Sound-Denman/Hornby Islands (Area ‘A’). “It will be a great addition to the parks and greenways system. I, and my electoral area director colleagues, are pleased to see the planning and work on this project come to fruition.”
The properties were purchased from G.G. McClintock Enterprises Ltd. and their partner company for $605,000. Their spokesperson commented, “We are pleased that we were able to reach a deal on the Wellington Colliery right of way that allows its continued use as a public trail. There were other parties interested in the property, but our first preference was to have it in public hands where it could become the major part of the trail link from Royston to Cumberland.”
“The creation of parks and greenways is a significant element of a livable region,” said Jim Gillis, CVRD director for Lazo North (Area ‘B’). “Public response to our community consultations has demonstrated how Comox Valley residents value new trails as part of a healthy, thriving community that will be there for all people for all time.”
Further information, including a background document on the purchase agreement details, can be obtained on the CVRD website at www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/parksplan.
The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.
Michael Nihls, manager of parks
Comox Valley Regional District