The Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary in Saanich is about to get a bit bigger.
On Dec. 21, the District of Saanich announced that the municipality had purchased a new piece of land at 3890 Swan Lake Road – just north of the Swan Lake Nature House – that will eventually be added to the nature sanctuary.
The new property was purchased for $999,000 – the market value, said district spokesperson Kelsie McLeod.
Currently, the nature sanctuary is comprised of more than 160 acres which are owned by Saanich and Nature Trust BC, and managed by the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Society. The new land will eventually be rezoned to P-5 – the conservation zone which, per Saanich’s Zoning Bylaw, permits use for nature centres and sanctuaries, among other uses.
“Following our vision to save and improve our green spaces for future generations, the district has been acquiring land for many years in the Swan Lake area with a goal of preserving it as a nature sanctuary,” explained Mayor Fred Haynes in a written statement.
The district has been acquiring pockets of land around the low wetland of Swan Lake and rocky, forest hilltop of Christmas Hill since the ’60s. Over the years, 26 properties in the area have been purchased by the municipality and preserved in their natural state for residents to enjoy.
It is a photo worthy day at Swan Lake. Unfortunately last night's storm has caused flooding both around the boardwalk and near the aspen trail. The full lake loop is not passible. Please use caution if you visit the Nature Sanctuary today. pic.twitter.com/XV6C1BD0fh
— Swan Lake Nature (@SwanLakeNature) December 22, 2020
Those planning to visit the nature sanctuary are advised that some sections of the lake loop trail – including the area near the boardwalk and the Aspen Trail – were flooded by the Dec. 21 snowstorm. The Nature House on the north side of the lake will be closed from Dec. 24 at noon through Jan. 3.
For more information about the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, visit swanlake.bc.ca.