Oak Haven Park

Oak Haven Park Permanently Protected!

Oak Haven Municipal Park is a 10-hectare rocky outcrop of endangered Garry Oak and associated ecosystems. Unique and beautiful, Garry Oak ecosystems are considered one of the three most threatened in Canada.

Oak Haven Municipal Park is a 10-hectare rocky outcrop of endangered Garry Oak and associated ecosystems. Unique and beautiful, Garry Oak ecosystems are considered one of the three most threatened in Canada.

In one of the first conservation covenants to be registered on public land in British Columbia, the District of Central Saanich has permanently protected Oak Haven Park. HAT and The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) jointly hold responsibility for monitoring and enforcing this covenant. This legal agreement ensures that Oak Haven Park can never be sub-divided, nor damaged by construction of buildings, roads, or trails. It also stipulates that no chemical pesticides or fertilizers can be applied, and no native plants may be intentionally harmed or removed.

Mayor Allison Habkirk was very pleased with the covenant's unanimous approval: "It's a way of adding some extra protection," she explained. "Councils change, times change…"

Several years ago, Council requested that a third party conservation covenant be registered on the title of Oak Haven Park to ensure that this significant fragment of rare oak ecosystem be legally protected.

 

According to Marilyn Fuchs of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team, more than 100 Garry oak and associated ecosystem species are at risk of extinction, and less than 5% of the original habitat remains in a near-natural condition.

HAT board member Andrew Harcombe has worked tirelessly for several years to see this process completed: "Oak Haven contains the largest intact Garry oak ecosystem left in Central Saanich; to have it protected for the public good forever is wonderful news. Having a land trust hold a conservation covenant on municipal land is a precedent I hope to see repeated throughout the region," he said.

 

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