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May 23, 2024, 12:52 pm

District of Central Saanich to Purchase Land to Expand Butterfield Park

District of Central Saanich
CENTRAL SAANICH -  The District of Central Saanich has negotiated an agreement to purchase an 18-acre parcel of land bordering the District’s 13-acre Butterfield Park.  

The purchase will see the park almost double in size and protect 10 acres of heavily forested land at 1124 Mount Newton Cross Road. The plans include selling off the other approximately 8 acres of unforested, bare land to fund the parkland purchase. The agreement to purchase the 18 acres includes a purchase price of $3.2 million.  

“To see a large portion of heavily forested land that borders a park come for sale is rare, and something of this magnitude is a special opportunity,” said Mayor Ryan Windsor. “At the end of the process, we are looking for this to be a cost-neutral purchase, or close to, which is a wonderful outcome for the community.”    

Butterfield Park is a 13-acre property at 8000 Thomson Place, off Mount Newton Cross Road. The District took on the care of the property in 1988 upon the passing of Hilda Butterfield, whose parents had owned the property since 1913. Hilda and her family were dedicated to the preservation of the native wildflowers and plants and wanted to see them protected. The Butterfield house, barn, garage and shed were designated a municipal heritage site in 1992. 

“Butterfield Park was made possible by a land donation for the intent of protecting and sharing the rare and exceptional beauty of the land,” said Windsor. “We are pleased to be able to expand on this gift to the community and ensure current and future generations can also care for and enjoy this beautiful area.” 

Butterfield Park includes a short walking trail just under a kilometre, called the Butterfield Park Loop, which connects to the two-kilometre Brown’s Wood Trail donated to the District by Dorothy and Bill Brown. 

The acquisition aligns with the District’s Official Community Plan, including the objective to Continue to expand and develop the Parks and Trail system to serve existing and future needs of the community in an environmentally sensitive manner that protects a diversity of species and ecosystems, and the policies from the Parks and Open Space section (4.5): (9) Ensure that as population increases adequate park space and park improvements are provided to ensure access to outdoor natural areas and children’s play areas to support mental and physical well-being; (12) Explore innovative means to acquire park land, obtain the use of private land, or to protect land to meet parks and open space needs and (13) Enhance the natural ecosystems in the parks and trail system by enhancing biodiversity, managing invasive species, and protecting tree canopy.   

The District notes preparing the site for the public will take some time. Central Saanich will be working with local First Nations and consulting with the community and local environmental groups as plans are made for the park. 

 

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