Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coats Marsh Regional Park to officially open on May 22

Clyde Coats' former family property will officially open to the public as Coats Marsh Regional Park on May 22nd. The ceremony begins at 11:15 am on May 22, at the Aiden Road entrance to the park located off of Coats Road. The new Regional Park is a 45.7 hectare parcel of wetlands and forest and is protected in a partnership between The Nature Trust of British Columbia, the Regional District of Nanaimo, and the BC Trust for Public Lands.

"Conservation is of great importance to residents of the Regional District of Nanaimo," said Larry McNabb, Chair of the Regional Parks and Trails Advisory Committee. "We are looking forward to the opening ceremony, and we are tremendously grateful to Mr. Coats for the opportunity to care for this property and manage it as a Regional Park."

Coats Marsh Regional Park features a wetland and stands of rare coastal Douglas fir. Two creeks run through the property and eventually connect to Hoggan Lake. The land also kitty corners the 707 Acre Community Park, owned and managed by the Regional District of Nanaimo.

"By protecting this unique property we have taken a tremendous step in establishing a large protected area on Gabriola Island that contains rare plant species and provides habitat for numerous wildlife," said Doug Walker, Chief Executive Officer of The Nature Trust of B.C. "At the same time, this acquisition will provide the people of the Regional District of Nanaimo, in particular Gabriola Islanders, with the opportunity to gain a greater appreciation of this ecological gem in their community." With the acquisition of the former Coats lands, the RDN now has 2016 hectares (1,769 acres) of regional parkland, including two campgrounds, nine day-use parks, and seven trails. The RDN manages more than 160 community parks, including the 707 Acre Community Park adjoining the former Coats property.

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is a leader in protecting BC's natural diversity of plants and animals through the acquisition and conservation of critical habitats and other areas of ecological significance. Through partnerships like the Coats Land Acquisition, The Nature Trust has invested more than $63 million to secure more than 61,000 hectares (150,000 acres) of critical habitat throughout British Columbia. (www.naturetrust.bc.ca)

Ever considered living next door to a conservation area... There is a gorgeous 5 acre property located at 1040 Coats Drive, which is currently listed for sale, additional details can be found at: http://www.discovergabriola.com/index.php?page=2&id=49 .

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