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Vancouver Island's Natural Wonders

Alexis Kuo ’24
Senior School Round Square is raising awareness of the Mountain Road Project
In West Saanich, there is a call-out to save a beautiful and biodiverse piece of land. Almost 20-hectare or 49 acres in size, the forest property has been in the possession of a local family for almost 50 years. In partnership with the Capital Regional District (CRD) and the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT), the property is set to be sold to the CRD in hopes of becoming a permanent urban forest park. Recognizing the importance of this piece of nature, the Senior School Round Square is looking to raise awareness for this environmental initiative.
 
Charlotte Quinn ’24, who is spearheading this awareness initiative, has been an avid supporter of the environment for years. She quotes HAT as she describes the beauty of this piece of land. 
 
“This pristine 49-acre parcel of land in West Saanich is a magnificent mature second growth Coast Douglas-fir forest, along with Garry oak meadow, rock outcrops with camas lilies, and arbutus stands, all of which are some of Canada's most rare and imperiled ecosystems. A spring fed stream that transects the property is part of the headwaters of the Colquiz River system.”
 
Being an ecologically important piece of land and home to the Western Screech owl and 
Common Nighthawk, it is of utmost importance that it is preserved for future generations and communities to enjoy. The Western Screech Owl, immortalized in children’s books, such as The Brave Little Owl by Gill Davies, and the Common Nighthawk, with its large eyes and mottled plumage, were once common species but, due to habitat and food loss, they are experiencing a dramatic decline in population.
 
As Charlotte quotes the website she also supports the call for help: “This project is about protecting a magnificent forest by turning it into a park. This pristine forest would otherwise be developed. The Habitat Acquisition Trust is running a fundraising drive to save this forest and permanently conserve it. This is an incredible chance to save some of the best undeveloped forest left on the Saanich Peninsula. There is $500,000 left to raise to protect this forest.”
 
Charlotte points out that we can do our part to save an important ecological community and the inhabitants who call it home by contributing and raising funds through various means such as “Spreading the word, fundraising and involving our local communities. We are 80 per cent of the way there.  We need to raise another $500,000 to save one of the most beautiful places in the Greater Victoria Region.”
 
To contribute and help save a part of our natural world, visit https://www.mountainroadforest.ca/ for more information.
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