I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mary Lake

Mary Lake is a small lake within a 107 acre property in the District of Highlands that is currently zoned for residential development into 11 acreages.  It is an important piece of land for many reasons.  It provides a wildlife corridor between Gowland Todd Provincial Park and Thetis Lake Regional Park, it has an existing network of trails and would be a key addition to the Southern Vancouver Island trail network, the Sea-to-Sea Greenbelt, and a proposed regional trail between Gowland Todd and Thetis Lake parks.  Of course, the area is also home to a wide variety of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and plants.

In October of 2010 the Mary Lake Conservancy, formed by a group of residents from the District of Highlands, began a fundraising campaign to raise $1,000,000 by January 20, 2011 and the balance of $3,500,000 over the next couple of years, with a final goal of an official park opening on January 1, 2014.  Reaching the first million is critical as it unlocks financing to purchase the property.

I heard about the Save Mary Lake campaign a couple of months ago and have visited their website several times since to see how their fundraising efforts are going.  There has been a fair bit of media coverage both in print and on television, but they still have a long way to go in a short period of time.  On the surface one million dollars seems like a lot of money, but broken down into $10.00 chunks it would only take 100,000 people $10.00 each in order to help the Mary Lake Conservancy meet their initial goal.  Considering the population of the Capital Regional District alone, and the fact that they are using social networking to raise awareness, I am still hopeful that a large mass of donations could pile in and save the day.

Take a couple of minutes and check out their website http://www.savemarylake.com/.  It is set up quite well, informative, and very easy to donate in several different ways.  If you like what you see I would encourage you to send in a contribution and pick out your little square of Mary Lake.  I sent in our donation of $40.00 at the end of December and have a little piece of lakefront with the names of our four family members on it.  I sincerely hope that I will be able to walk through that park in three years and show my kids our names on a plaque.

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