The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted

Nelson society raises $400K to save regional park from logging project

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

The Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society has raised the $400,000 necessary to purchase 40 hectares of forest from the Nelson Land Corporation.

The goal has been to save the land from logging.

“It was a true team effort,” says board member Andrew McBurney on Monday. “It’s been a real nice antidote to 2020 and COVID-19. People have really wanted to put energy into something so simple and beautiful as the lake.”

The deadline of Feb. 28 had been extended twice by the corporation at the request of the society to give more time for fundraising in the midst of a pandemic.

The campaign has had more than 1,000 donors, McBurney says, with an average donation of $350. The largest was $10,000 from a business in the region, with several other businesses donating more than 1,000 each. A recent art auction on Instagram raised $9,000.

McBurney said there were moments during the year-long campaign when he almost lost heart.

“But then we got a save from someone who did something, or said something, or pushed something forward, or gave a donation. It was amazing how many times we were in a pinch, and we still pulled it off.”

The next step is for the society to transfer the money to the Regional District of Central Kootenay, which will gain title to the land and then transfer it to an established national conservation organization that is reluctant to have its name used until the ink is dry on all documents.

The society still has to raise $120,000 to cover legal fees plus the costs of fundraising, administration, surveying, subdividing, and a stewardship fee, but McBurney says the group expects to receive a grant for that purpose.

The land in question is adjacent to 21 hectares of forest land at Cottonwood Lake purchased from the Nelson Land Corporation by the RDCK last year and added to Cottonwood Lake Regional Park.

Related:

• More land to be purchased from Cottonwood Lake logger

• RDCK to purchase portion of lands around Cottonwood Lake

The logging plan no one wants to talk about



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

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The area shaded in yellow was purchased last year by the Regional District of Central Kootenay. The purple area is the current purchase. Map: Submitted

The area shaded in yellow was purchased last year by the Regional District of Central Kootenay. The purple area is the current purchase. Map: Submitted