A picture posted by Surge Narrows Community Association for their fundraiser, shows children enjoying in a Read Island forest. (Photo/Surge Narrows Community Association)

A picture posted by Surge Narrows Community Association for their fundraiser, shows children enjoying in a Read Island forest. (Photo/Surge Narrows Community Association)

Read Island folks might buy a forest for the third time

After ‘Lot 302’, the Surge Narrows Community Association looks ahead to purchase more forest area to conserve

The tree loving, forest-buying, self-sufficient members of the community of Read Island are back to buy more forest land to preserve, a month after buying 20 acres of land.

Recently the Surge Narrows Community Association, consisting of members from the the islands of Read, Maurelle, Rendezvous, and Owen Bay on Sonora Island, raised funds to buy 20 acres of forest land on Read Island, which is located at the top of the Strait of Georgia near Quadra and Cortes.

READ MORE: Read Islanders look to purchase, preserve 20 more acres of forest lands

They began raising funds for this plot of land, ‘Lot 302,’ that belonged to a Read island couple in October 2019 and within three to four months they raised approximately $200,000 through crowd funding site GoFundMe and other donations.

After buying the land for $150,000, followed by legal feels and all other associated costs, they had a surplus. The community will use this amount to invest in another stretch of old-growth forest and sensitive ecosystems, said Rosie Steeves one of the directors of the Surge Narrows Community Association.

“I believe we may have an additional $50,000 left and we will use that money to purchase more land and protect it,” Steeves said.

This will be the third project the community undertakes to buy forest, with Surge Narrow residents raising $78,000 back in 1992 to purchase their first 20 acres of forest land, the ‘Lot 309’ Fish and Forest Reserve. With the purchase of ‘Lot 302,’ the community has created a 40-acre ecological reserve.

The land will eventually be transferred over to the Strathcona Regional District once the covenants to ensure the land is completely protected are ready.

A landmark event for the community, Steeves said that it reflected the energy of the community and how everyone wanted to protect this small island from logging.

“The degree and percentage of logging on such a small island was distressing and for a very long time people on the island felt helpless about it,” Steeves said.

Which is why, once the opportunity presented itself, almost everyone jumped in and contributed for ‘Lot 302’.

“People don’t have big incomes here and despite that, they donated generously,” she said and added this collective effort generated a lot of “energy” and “positive feeling.”

For a small island with a population of around 50 to 100 residents to pull off this feat is a game changer, says Steeves who feels that this could set an example for a lot of other places that want to save their environments.

“Everybody is blown away, not only by how we did it but also how quickly we did it, “ said Steeves, and added “If we can do it, a lot of folks can too.”

Steeves said that the age of internet helped further the conservation, a tool that was not previously available to the generation that took two to three years to raise funds back in 1992.

External funding came in from people outside the region too, who heard about the cause and wanted to support this act of preservation.

Some of the residents who lived on Read Island in the past and have shared histories with the land also came forward to donate money.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Environment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
DriveSmart: Police Powers

By Tim Schewe If you are stopped by the police, just what… Continue reading

A COVID-19 exposure has been reported at Drinkwater Elementary School dating to Feb. 25. (Google Street View image)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Drinkwater Elementary

Possible exposures occurred on Thursday, Feb. 25

A graphic design of the new RCMP detachment which will be located on a five-acre property bordering Ford Road and Drinkwater Road. (File graphic)
Heavy trucks not allowed shortcut during construction of RCMP detachment

North Cowichan won’t allow heavy trucks on Drinkwater Road where not designated

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Laketown Ranch to welcome campers this summer

Sunfest site will provide camping amenities between May and September

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from BC Ferries staff

After Dasher made a dash, staff in Comox found her and got her home safe

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

Most Read