A Garry Oak Meadow or the ‘dozers?
South Jubilee Neighbourhood’s small piece of original Garry Oak Meadow, on the north – east corner of Bank Street and Leighton Avenue is in danger. This lot, never developed, has 29 Garry Oaks of various ages around a rocky outcrop that shelters several native species – white fawn lilies, blue camas, shooting star and more. With less than five percent of this lovely, once – dominant ecosystem remaining in BC, it could be a great loss if the bulldozers move in.
For several years we have sent regular letters to the Kasapi
family, who own the property, and to the city of Victoria to express our interest in acquiring it for a park. Victoria has a Parks Acquisition Fund that could be used for this. Since 2005, when a University of Victoria assessment made us aware of the natural heritage value of the land, we have felt
we had a strong case. But now there are credible rumours that the owners are in conversation with the city about building on the lot. South Jubilee has yet to be consulted. Because of our Neighbourhood’s long-expressed interest, and because of the threat to this rare natural gem, we ought to be part of any discussion about development.
Therefore, we have sent letters to Mayor and Council and to the City Manager to ask for a discussion. As a result, on April 1st, South Jubilee Coordinator Ron George and Liz Hoar, will meet with Victoria’s City Manager, Mr. Jason Johnson, to talk about our concerns. We trust that we will have a fair hearing. We hope to work with the owners and the City of Victoria so that the Parks Acquisition Fund will be used to add the property to the City Parks system.
Once that happens, we can begin the restoration of the land to its natural state, so that the next seven generations of South Jubilee residents can rest in the shade of Garry Oaks and revel in a sea of blue camas on the corner of Bank and Leighton.