The Quadra Island Conservancy and Stewardship Society (QICSS) will be holding a community meeting on Oct. 1 to discuss the future of Gowlland Point.
On the agenda are plans for a permanent, public greenspace close to Quathiaski Cove. The precise area to be made public is still subject to debate.
Land trust property representative Cathy Slater says the idea from planning to actually seeing a vision has been a long process, one which started last year.
“In January 2021, I had the good fortune of attending the UN Climate Adaptation summit,” says Slater in an email “I learned about locally led adaptation and nature based solutions. Greening up the planet through active community action-citizens getting out and planting together in ecosystem restoration projects is considered one solution to drawing down the massively excess(ive) carbon in the atmosphere.”
Through aggressive campaigning and lobbying over the past year and a half, Slater approached QICSS in the spring with her vision. This came after she got backing from several non-profit groups, including Tree Canada.
Discussions with property owner Rick Schellinck commenced in April 2022. The talks were encouraging, prompting the upcoming meeting.
“We (at QICSS) discussed with Schellinck about whether he would consider selling some or all of his property. He replied he would consider this and within a week three board members, and several others walked around his property for over two hours,” says Slater.
As for how much of the property that will be sold, that is actively up for negotiation. Slater says she has fundraising efforts underway.
“They have begun externally, and may be successful without a large community engagement,” Slater says, noting the considerable money the United Nations have set aside for restoration and conservation efforts in their ‘Decade of restoration’ which began June 2021.