Anneke and Peter Van Kerkoerle stand in front of a shed near their property in south Nanaimo. The couple recently donated their property to the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust

Nanaimo couple donates beloved property

NANAIMO – Van Kerkoerles worked with Nanaimo and Area Land Trust to preserve land

Surrounded by camellias, magnolias, dogwoods and numerous other plants sits the home of avid horticulturalists and nature lovers Peter and Anneke Van Kerkoerle.

Located in south Nanaimo, the Van Kerkoerles have called the property of more than 16 hectares their home for nearly five decades.

But earlier this year, the Van Kerkoerles, who are now in their late 80s, made the decision to donate their property to the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust, an organization that aims to protect and promote natural land values within the Nanaimo region.

“It’s all signed,” Anneke said, with a smile.

The legally binding document, known as a Life Estate, ensures that after the Van Kerkoerles have died their home and property will be protected by the land trust. The couple also signed a Voluntary Stewardship Agreement agreement with NALT.

“We bought this land and the trails are so beautiful,” Anneke said. “We thought these trees should never be cut.”

Both originally from Holland, Peter and Anneke met and fell in love while they were living in Kitchener, Ont. The couple, who have no children, moved to Nanaimo in 1967 and purchased the large property in 1968 and have lived there ever since.

“It was the first property we ever saw,” Anneke said.

The Van Keroerles have always been passionate about plants and nature. Peter spent his professional life working in the forestry industry as a horticulturalist and analytical technician, while Anneke stayed at home and maintained the property, which is complete with trails, creeks and wetlands.

Peter said his interest in plants started when he was a young boy growing up in Holland, adding that his passion rubbed off on his wife of more than 50 years.

“Anneke got it from me,” Peter said laughing. “When she met me she didn’t know much about plants.”

“I cared for plants, but I didn’t know the names,” Anneke replied.

“I taught her the names,” Peter responded.

The couple have been members of the land trust since the organization was founded in the 1990s. Their property, which was recently named the Parnassian Woods, is located next to NALT’s native plant nursery on Frost Road. The land trust also conducts guided tours of the Van Kerkoerle’s property.

The Van Kerkoerles said they had been thinking about donating their property to the the land trust for years and that they can continue to live their lives with peace of mind.

“It is a relief,” Anneke said. “We know it is going to be in good hands. We could have sold it. But what are people in their 80s going to do with all that money?”

Gail Adrienne, executive director for NALT, said it is a privilege to be receiving such a beautiful and well-taken care of property.

“It took awhile to get the process done,” Adrienne said. “Our lawyer had to work with Van Kerkoerle’s lawyer for a number of years.”

Van Kerkoerles will continue to live on the property, as they always have, under the agreement.

For more information on NATL, please visit

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s ‘Kidney Condo’ accommodates out-of-town dialysis patients

Facility first of its kind on Vancouver Island, according to Kidney Foundation of Canada

Warrant issued for man who wielded machete across from Nanaimo’s tent city last year

William Robert Francis Carrigan failed to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday

Working smoke alarms found in fewer than one-third of residential fires in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue urges residents to install smoke alarms in homes

Nanaimo Ladysmith education support workers’ deal ratified

CUPE Local 606, Nanaimo school district and bargaining agent ratify deal, which runs till June 2022

VIU professor writes over Shakespeare in new book of poetry

In ‘Sonnet’s Shakespeare,’ Sonnet L’Abbé superimposes her own poems over the sonnets of the Bard

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

City of Nanaimo says it’s ‘back on track’ with waste collection

Mechanical issues, new development stressing system

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Most Read