Proponents of a public park at Mary Lake in Highlands say that it would help protect an important wildlife corridor and the Millstream watershed.

Proponents of a public park at Mary Lake in Highlands say that it would help protect an important wildlife corridor and the Millstream watershed.

Efforts ongoing for public park at Mary Lake

Park would protect an important wildlife corridor and be wheelchair accessible

A continued push to establish a park at Mary Lake in Highlands appears to be gaining traction.

The Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society, a nearly 40-year-old organization with a history of executing parklands projects, is behind the initiative. They declined to be interviewed for this story.

The 73-acre park would have access from Millstream Road and features a seven-acre lake in the western portion of Highlands. It promises to have recreational benefits for Highlands residents and the broader West Shore community.

“It’s a spectacular piece of property,” said Highlands Mayor Ken Williams.

The society currently has a contract of purchase for the land around the lake from the previous owner.

They cite other benefits such as protection of the Millstream watershed, creating a final link in a 25-kilometre trail loop and the protection of six species on federal and provincial endangered lists, while acting as an important wildlife corridor.

A paved driveway leading to the park would also make it wheelchair accessible.

“There’s a lot of value there,” Williams noted.

He believes it would serve as a nice connector between Thetis Lake Regional Park and Gowlland Tod Provincial Park.

“It’s also very centrally located. It’s close to our new community hall … the property’s within a pretty easy walking or biking distance for many Highlanders.”

The society sent a letter to Colwood council asking for their support for the project and council voted in favour of the request at their most recent meeting.

Fundraising efforts for the Greenbelt Society are ongoing.

For more information visit marylakeconnections.ca.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com