“To promote the reservation, acquisition and protection, and where necessary the purchase, of greenbelt lands, potential parkland and outstanding examples of our natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of all citizens of the Greater Victoria metropolitan area.
The Great Victoria Greenbelt Society considers the natural world to be a precious and necessary partner to the healthy existence of all beings including humans. We believe that all aspects of nature deserve to be respected and protected now and for future generations. By cultivating a mindful relationship with nature, we can re-learn the critical interdependence of all life, and naturally be inspired to protect it from destructive practices.
In December 2016, with the help of a generous donor and in partnership with MJ Architecture, GVGS acquired the Mary Lake property through a mortgage held with Vancity.
December 23rd was a great day, and it felt good to take the property off the market, knowing that no further development will happen to this rare tract of land in the Highlands, which has been held under a conservation covenant since 1947.
GVGS has a big goal to reach now - raising funds to pay off the mortgage. We undertake this bold goal knowing there are hundreds if not thousands of Victorians who similarly feel that, together, we need to take action to protect the biodiversity of wildlife and habitat from further destruction.
With many blue and red-listed plants and animals living amidst the forest, it is important that we take all necessary action to preserve the ecosystems and create a public nature education site. Your donation will ensure Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary remains a pristine and precious place to visit today, and for years to come.
Here's what happens when donate to GVGS - you are:
- protecting 67-acres of natural land in the west Highlands district, just a short drive from downtown Victoria.
- protecting a natural carbon sink and maintaining an important wildlife corridor that protects rare habitats of many plant and animal species, several of which are endangered.
- preserving an excellent example of the imperiled Coastal Douglas Fir Moist Maritime ecosystem, so little of which remains intact.
- safeguarding a part of the Millstream Creek watershed and ground water aquifers - the stream goes back 12,000 years.
- helping to complete the 25 km world-class, Gowlland Tod/ Mount Work/ Thetis Lake Trail Loop. This trail is also an important wildlife corridor.
We know from visitor feedback that Mary Lake's inspiring beauty will make the sanctuary your new favourite place to visit - again and again and again.
Your donation will further support the Highlands Nature House, a retreat centre and meeting venue, which is elegantly positioned overlooking Mary Lake. From every window there is a drop-dead gorgeous view. Once a residence, the Highlands Nature House has been transformed over the past several months, and has been thoughtfully updated. It will soon be ready to rent. The property and the Nature House will be hosting artist retreats, research groups, community meetings and AGMs, photography classes, yoga classes, and so much more.
Protecting Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary feels good. It feels right. Please join us in making this dream become a living reality by making a generous donation to Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society.