City wraps up Linley Valley park purchases

Nanaimo city council exercises option agreement for two properties at a $2-million cost.

The City of Nanaimo has purchased the last link in an expanded Linley Valley park.

Nanaimo city council  unanimously agreed to spend $2 million dollars to add 20 hectares to its urban park in north Nanaimo.

The two properties, expected to be transferred to the city today, is the last purchase earmarked in a park acquisition program and will create a 71-hectare green space spanning Linley Valley.

It’s exciting, says Mayor John Ruttan, who encourages people to walk the area to see what the city bought.

“I think it is a legacy,” he said. “It’s a very large area and it’s still very much rural and yet it’s accessible to the residents, certainly in north Nanaimo in particular.

“We can all think of major parks in Victoria and Vancouver and Nanaimo itself that if it hadn’t been for the foresight of the city fathers of the day they would have been lost … It’s so important to protect green space wherever you can.”

Nanaimo city officials announced a series of option agreements for six separate properties earlier this year, which spanned 91 hectares in Linley Valley. The move was made in camera and was anticipated to see the city spend up to $9 million on land purchase, park planning, trail construction and environmental restoration. Now the city is pegs the total at $5.7 million with another $720,000 set aside over the next seven years for park planning and improvements.

It was unable to acquire 20 hectares on Tanya Drive because of a prior purchasing agreement.

The latest two properties are 5600 Vanderneuk Road and 3842 Stronach Drive.