Pioneer Forest History● 1913: Privately owned by Elizabeth and William Cook● 1960s/70: Province acquired?● 1984: Province gave land to City by way of a free Crown Grant, for so long as it is used as a park● 1996/7: Property was subdivided and SD#68 became owner of the forest with no use condition● Nov. 2011: SD#68 & City sign 5-year license agreement● May 2012: City and SD#68 sought to "correct a housekeeping error" changing OCP designation from "parks and open space" to "neighbourhood"
Pioneer Forest● Rare Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem● Urban forest● Recreation: easily accessible for all● Community involvement● Balanced development● A good "fence" between Lantzville & Nanaimo: our commons● Health and well-being● Long-term community asset
What does Pioneer Forest mean to residents?● Within a week of aborted City of Nanaimo public meeting, 100 people gathered in the forest (June 14)● "Friends of Pioneer Forest" -- concerned people seeking a permanent solution to protect forest as park● All agree forest must be protected● www.savepioneerforest.com
What does Pioneer Forest mean to residents?● Its my connection with nature. I cant drive, cant do stairs or walk on rocks● Its a big part of what makes Pioneer Park a recreational asset; removes pollutants, reconnects us with the land● Its why we bought our house; it was and is a park & the OCP has it as park and open space● I have walked my dogs here for years
What does Pioneer Forest mean to residents?● This forest is why I came back to Nanaimo● This is where I run every day and where my kids connect with nature● The value of this forest to the liveability of the area cannot be replaced● A great deal. We need more trees, not less
What does Pioneer Forest mean toresidents?Youth work parties to remove invasives, revive forest● Sadie Biggs, Grade 10, Dover Bay Secondary:“It’s a really active project and it’s a really visible thingyou’re doing.”● Ashley Wilson, Grade 11, Dover Bay Secondary:“You get a result at the end of it, which is always nice.And it’s good to get out.”● Terry Zhang, Grade 10, Dover Bay Secondary:“I feel like I do good when I help the community. I feellike I’m getting involved, and I’m making new friends. Ilike the Pioneer Park thing.” From Nanaimo Daily News, March 13, 2012
What Might it Mean to SD#68?● Possible building site? Bad location, expensive to build, destroys forest● Sale to fund operating costs? The land valuation is $960,000 -- 3 days of SD#68 salaries & benefits: destroys forest● Alternatives? Community wants to protect Pioneer forest in perpetuity, care for it, keep it the special place it is. We have ideas.
Will SD68 work with us to find alternatives?Will SD#68 Work With Us?● Halt the redesignation proposal● Explore all options with community● Lets work together to save Pioneer forest● Secure a long-term, living asset that will reap positive returns for this and future generations● I would like to invite all the Trustees to come and visit the forest, walk it with Friends and experience first-hand why it is worth so much more as a living forest.