Last week, citizens reached the campaign amount necessary for the BC Parks Foundation to buy the beautiful Princess Louisa Inlet from a private seller.
In an unusual but excellent crowdfunding campaign success, Canadian citizens have raised $3 million Canadian Dollars ($2.3 million USD) for the British Columbia Parks Foundation to buy 2,000 acres of the Princess Louisa Inlet, a beautiful glacier-carved gorge which was being eyed by developers. Once the sale is finalized, the land will be transferred to BC Parks for conversion into a Class A Provincial Park so it will be forever protected from logging and development. B.C. Parks Foundation CEO Andrew Day says this will be one of the first crowdfunded protected parks in the country. "It's just an amazing, amazing thing that people have done," he told CBC News. "It was so many people who gave us $10 or $15 and said, 'This is all I can do, but this is a wonderful thing that you're doing.'"
More than 1,000 people raised CA$3 million (US$2.3 million) for the British Columbia Parks Foundation to buy nearly 2,000 acres in Princess Louisa Inlet (known as the "Yosemite of the North"): https://t.co/sxW3wg6axc #environment #NationalParks #conservation— Jonathan Yu (@jawnsy) September 16, 2019
According to The New York Times, the land was previously privately owned, and three plots of land in the region were put up for sale in early 2019, attracting attention and offers from developers and forestry companies. In response, the parks foundation started discussions to buy the land, and drew up the purchase agreement, and turned to the public for help crowdfunding the amount required for the sale. Donations poured in from schools, businesses and charities as well as from tourists who had visited the region and fallen in love. “I was stunned by the beauty of the area and the peace,” said Ms. Wood, a Vancouver who first sailed there with her husband in 1959, told The New York Times. “That wonderful feeling that you get is like being in a church. But not a man-made one, a natural church.”
MT @bcparksfdn: You did it! We are overjoyed to announce we have finalized the purchase of three properties in Princess Louisa Inlet. Your love for keeping BC beautiful has protected a magnificent jewel. Enjoy the wonderful feeling and spectacular view! Via @LandQuestRealty #BC pic.twitter.com/PBOYaIl4qE— BritishColumbia.com (@BCVacation) September 18, 2019
A few weeks ago, the crowdfunding goal was finally reached, just in time for the deadline. "You did it! Your love for British Columbia and beautiful places like Princess Louisa Inlet has done something miraculous," BC Parks Foundation CEO Andrew Day wrote in a letter to the campaign's supporters. "It is clear from the wellspring of support we received in such a short amount of time that people want to keep B.C. beautiful. Parks are the core of our identity - they are what makes B.C. 'supernatural' and the reason why so many of us live here and visit. With tourism now contributing more to our gross domestic product than any other primary resource industry (including mining, oil and gas, forestry and logging, and agriculture and fishing), these places are also critical to our economy and livelihoods. But most importantly, they are anchors for our hearts and souls - they are our cathedrals, our towers, our pyramids; the wonders of our world, inspiring awe, gratitude, and fulfillment. In parks, we find our way." Day added that the sale was finalized on September 3, and that the next step was to designate the land as a part and put structures in place to protect it.
"We knew that there had been a couple offers from forestry companies to buy that property and that's why we got involved in the first place," Day told CBC News. "It's really a huge portion of the inlet and we'll do our best to make sure that that area stays protected forever." The foundation's long-term plan for the property is to bundle the 800 hectares with surrounding Crown land, parks, and land set aside for conservation to create a massive 9,000-hectare provincial park around the entire inlet.