Management agreement for Mt. Benson park nears completion

NANAIMO – Agreement wraps up work between Regional District of Nanaimo and Nanaimo and Area Land Trust.

An agreement between the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust for Mount Benson Regional Park is nearly complete.

The two entered into a contribution agreement in February 2006. The park was purchased by the regional district for $950,000, with the land trust providing 50 per cent, or $475,000. A management plan for the park was also developed.

Gail Adrienne, land trust executive director, said based on the agreement, the regional district would take title to the property and the land trust would hold the covenant.

“The first part of that item, which is the RDN’s review of, and … approval of the conservation covenant that NALT staff and the RDN staff have been working on for more than eight years, that is ready now for the RDN board to give its approval,” Adrienne said.

While the regional district board gave approval at a Tuesday night meeting, final approval is anticipated at a Jan. 26 regular meeting.

Following final approval, the regional district and land trust will move to register Section 219 Conservation Covenant on title with the Land Title and Survey Authority of B.C. and the 2006 contribution agreement will be terminated, as the requirements have been fulfilled, said Tom Osborne, regional district general manager of recreation and parks.

Going forward, Osborne said the regional district will manage the park as per the park management plan.

The plan identifies key items in regards to how the park will be managed over the next 10 years, including how trails will be maintained, upgraded and how the park is used, he said.

“It also speaks of maintaining or decommissioning trails as well that aren’t in line with the regional park.

“It’s basically fulfilling all the direction of the management plan and the RDN will work to be consistent with that management plan,” said Osborne.

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