The South Jubilee neighbourhood and the University of Victoria are both winners Wednesday morning, following the City of Victoria’s purchase of a new parcel of land.
The 12,700-square-foot Garry oak meadow at the corner of Leighton Road and Bank Street is now the site of Agamemnon and Eleni Kasapi Park, with $1 million from the sale donated by the Kasapi family to the University of Victoria.
Appraised at $1.21 million, the city acquired the property for $1 million with funding from its parks acquisition fund and the issuance of a charitable donation receipt for $210,000. The park is named after the Kasapi family in recognition of their efforts to preserve the property in its natural state.
The city will be maintaining the park in close to its original state, with the minor additions of a wood chip pathway, benches and signage about the Indigenous history of the land.
The Kasapi family’s donation will be used to fund two new student scholarships: the Agamemnon Kasapi and Family Scholarship, worth $75,000 over three years, will be awarded to the undergraduate student with the highest GPA in the Faculty of Science; and the Academic Excellence Scholarship will be awarded to an academically outstanding student in the Faculty of Science at the end of first year.
“My father was very intelligent, and I think he felt he missed out on his chance for higher education, but he was determined that we wouldn’t,” said Mario Kasapi, Agamemnon’s son and current president of Kasapi Construction. “He encouraged us to work to get scholarships, seeing them as interim rewards before the long years of academia would pay off.”
Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday said the city is committed to preserving natural areas and hopes this purchase will help protect the province’s dwindling number of Garry oaks.
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