Saturnina Island is situated off the east coast of Gabriola Island. (Google Maps image)

Saturnina Island is situated off the east coast of Gabriola Island. (Google Maps image)

Parks foundation can preserve island near Nanaimo after $4-million donation from Lululemon founder

Chip Wilson’s family’s foundation supporting land purchases on three Islands in the Strait of Georgia

An island off the coast of Gabriola Island will be preserved as parkland thanks to a multi-million-dolllar donation.

The family foundation of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson, Wilson 5, pledged $4 million to the BC Parks Foundation, which will allow for the purchase of Saturnina Island off Gabriola and will help with the purchase of more than 100 hectares of waterfront land on Lasqueti Island.

The BC Parks Foundation said in a press release that the $4-million donation represents the largest single donation it has ever received.

“We stand today with thousands of British Columbians and people from across Canada and around the world who have answered the call to help BC Parks Foundation purchase and forever protect sacred, threatened ecosystems such as these islands in the Salish Sea,” Shannon Wilson, co-founder of the Wilson 5 Foundation, said in the release.

READ MORE: Donations fuel successful Lonesome Lake purchase by BC Parks Foundation

Andrew Day, CEO of the BC Parks Foundation, thanked the Wilson 5 foundation for supporting a “fast-growing movement to keep Canada’s Pacific coast beautiful.”

The BC Parks Foundation revealed that the Wilson 5 foundation was also the benefactor behind the recent matching-donation campaign that led to the preservation of West Ballenas Island near Nanoose Bay.

“It’s important to us to look far into the future and to take action now,” Chip Wilson in the release. “We feel strongly that this gift to the BC Parks Foundation and the people of BC will ensure an everlasting opportunity for the next generation and generations to come to enjoy the beauty of these places.”

The parks foundation noted that Saturnina, West Ballenas and Lasqueti islands are all “mainly natural and untouched sanctuaries with pristine beaches, abundant bird and marine life, and rare plants” and part of the coastal Douglas fir ecosystem.

The donation from the Wilson 5 foundation will also support the B.C. Parks Foundation’s Legacy Fund.

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