Saanich resident Edward (Ted) Wilson is donating a 1.85-acre property on Burnside Road West that the municipality hopes to turn into a future bike park.
“This property was purchased by my parents before I was born, and I’ve lived here my entire life,” Wilson said. “It’s a pleasure for me to know the property will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.”
Saanich plans to subdivide the property at 731 Burnside West into two parcels.
The southern portion next to the Galloping Goose Regional Trail will be developed into a new youth bike skills park over the next few years. Staff will put forward a request of $200,000 to for council to consider as part of the 2023 budget process to fund the bike park construction.
The northern wooded area with secondgrowth forest will be protected as part of Saanich’s urban forest.
Saanich will hold this “preservation parcel” in trust and has granted a life estate to Wilson so he may continue residing in the existing single-family home on the property. Once the life estate expires, Saanich will dedicate the parcel as park space, with Wilson’s mother’s family name of Wenden incorporated, and preserve its natural state.
“Mr. Wilson has given our community a tremendous and valuable gift of green space that is wonderfully rich in forest and open spaces to encourage active lifestyles,” Mayor Fred Haynes said in a statement.
“On behalf of Saanich, I thank him for his generosity and thoughtfulness. His gift adds significantly to our parks and brings real benefit for all our residents with increased recreation opportunities and an enhanced urban forest.”