Latest News & Updates about the future Mary Lake Nature Park
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 Newsletter #5: Springing Forward @ Mary Lake

Momentum is starting to build for the creation of the Mary Lake Nature Park as more people attend our “Spirit of Nature” Walks and fall in love with the beauty. Because the land has been under conservancy ownership since 1947, when Gertrude Snider bought it from a logger; Mother Nature has had 70 years to do her work.

Learn more about the "Spirit of Nature Walks" HERE

Many groups have also been booking private tours with each person giving a minimum $5 donation and others purchasing a Guardian of Mary Lake Membership so they can attend monthly walks for free.


On March 26th a group from the Victoria Natural History Society spent some time cataloging the birds on the property and are coming back in May when the migrant birds return. They were also identifying the many mosses that carpet large areas of the property.

Members of the Victoria Club Tread who came out to the March “Spirit of Nature Walk” were so inspired they have organized a private guided walk and slide show at Mary Lake on April 9th – so far over 50 of their members have signed up! 



Sat. April 29 at Mary Lake – 1772 Millstream RD.

Join us lakeside to hear powerful voices of support for the future “Mary Lake Nature Park”

A sanctuary protecting a 13,000 year old watershed, pristine forest and many species, while creating a new link for a 25 km hiking trail loop.

Check out the lineup and get an entrance and shuttle bus ticket early to help us plan and fund-raise. Our goal is 500 people. We have over 1500 on our growing supporters list.

Entrance is by $10 min. donation or free with Guardian of Mary Lake Membership. Children under 12 are free.

Looking forward to hearing the pipes and drums of the VanIsle Caledonia Pipe Band in the forest by the lake.

Follow this link for times and other important details


 Volunteers Needed

Do you have some time, energy or skills that you can offer to help us in our efforts to create Mary Lake Nature Park?

We need help for the April 29th  Gathering such as

Day Before: 6 people - site cleanup, setup of tents, tables & chairs
During:  2 hr shifts for
               8 greeters,
               4 @info table,
               2 parking attendants for 2 hrs pre event
               2 tea attendants in house 3 - 5 pm
After:    6 people – site cleanup & tear down

Contact: Koi Neah - – phone 250.474.4324


The hard work of the three feisty Highlanders of the Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society has paid off. Their initiative to acquire the 67 acre lot surrounding Mary Lake has made it possible for the CRD to now purchase a hiking trail corridor from them for $500,000.
This protects the forest and ecosystems from development and helps to pay off the mortgage. Thank you CRD

Mary Lake property in Highlands added to CRD trail system
Excerpt from article in Goldstream Gazette

“It’s a fabulous addition,” said Mayor Ken Williams, adding the trail will also act as a wildlife corridor. “It’s one of the true successes of the CRD.”
He thanked the society for having the vision to get this process started and the CRD for creating the connector. “It’s pretty amazing … You can access it from anywhere,” Williams said, pointing to the ways the trail will link neighboring municipalities.

Hats off to Ken Williams, Mayor of the Highlands for his strong advocacy for the Mary Lake Trail Link as a board member at the CRD.




Announcement from Habitat Acquisition Trust: 

Habitat Acquisition Trust has approved the donation of $25,000 towards the acquisition of Mary Lake Nature Park. Our organization is supportive of the Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society's Mary Lake Protection project. The intent of this partnership in support of Mary Lake Connections is to conserve the ecological values of Mary Lake and promote nature education.
As this property is still being fund-raised for, this donation is conditional on the funds being returned to HAT, should the project not reach completion.

We encourage those that care about nature spaces and conservation in our region to join HAT in supporting the Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society towards completing their fundraising goals for Mary Lake. Upon finalization of the Mary Lake purchase, HAT will consider protecting this important wildlife corridor with a conservation covenant.

“Thanks to Jill Robinson and the crew at HAT
for being so supportive and encouraging”


                                                                             Photo by Thomas Quine

Thanks to all the people who contributed to the Dec/ Jan Double your Donations Campaign. We reached our $18,000 goal in just 3 weeks! This gave us an inspiring start to 2017 by covering the costs of closing on the property that were incurred in Dec. All our feathered residents thank you as well.

The Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society has just joined our list of supporters. with a generous donation to the campaign.
They are working to create and promote a legacy of community trails in the District of Sooke and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. 

Thank you so much for your contribution to the "Double your Donations" fund for the Mary Lake Nature Park. 


Has invited us to have a info booth at the 6th annual EARTH DAY FESTIVAL
Be sure to drop by and say hello.


We are happy to announce that The Robert Bateman Centre is interested in the potential for future collaboration with GVGS at Mary Lake. They are excited by the possibility of doing nature art programs at the site.

The GVGS really respects the programs like the Junior Nature Sketch Club that The Robert Bateman Centre offers to students.


As of April 1 the Mary Lake property will have a resident caretaker who will be living in the apt in the house and doing maintenance, security and helping out on tours as partial payment of the rent. This will allow us to continue to use the main floor spaces for gatherings and slide shows.


Our new sign to raise awareness about this project has been installed at the driveway entrance on Millstream Rd. Thanks to the folks at Talon Signs for their professional work.



We ask that all people respect that the property is privately owned  by the Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society until all funds have been secured to pay off the mortgage. Our target is that this will be accomplished by the end of 2018 or sooner. After that time the Nature Park would be open to the general public. Until then please do not go onto the property unless attending our events. This is important for insurance reasons as well as the protection of sensitive habitat areas.

To protect the wildlife that has been making the Mary Lake property it's home for the last 70 years we have decided that pets will not be allowed on the property. Many conservancy minded people have expressed their concerns over the destruction that domestic animals are causing to the Regional Parks. We realize that one pet does not cause a lot of damage immediately, but repeatedly overtime and in greater numbers they take their toll on the flora and local wildlife.

Thank you for your understanding.

 Thanks for supporting the Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society's
Mary Lake Nature Park & Trail Project

email:   phone: 250.478.5858

Please Spread the Word !

"Together we are the instruments of change"

Copyright © 2017 Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society, All rights reserved.

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