old orchard on St. John Point

Why does protecting St. John Point matter?

This is A Rare Opportunity to Protect a Large Waterfront Tract: St. John Point

The property, currently on the open market, is zoned for 6 subdivision lots. With 64 acres of relatively undeveloped land, over 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) of mostly south facing shoreline and two pebble beaches this property could be very appealing to a developer. If we do not protect it NOW this chance will not come again.

St. John Point is a Unique and Important Habitat for Endangered Species

Because of the Eddy family’s thoughtful stewardship over the years St. John Point remains relatively undisturbed. The property is a stunning example of the Coastal Douglas Fir biogeoclimatic zone that defines a mix of biological, climatic and geological attributes that occurs nowhere else in the world. In BC this zone comprises less than 1% of the land mass, most of which is in private hands. With the highest level of species richness and abundance of all zones in BC, this zone needs help to survive, NOW.  The four largest natural vegetation communities on St. John Point are “Red Listed” – officially Endangered or Threatened. Two other ecosystems on the property are defined as “Sensitive” – ecologically fragile and at risk of extinction.

old orchard

Protecting St. John Point Will Enrich Our Lives

The many features of this property offer educational and recreational day use opportunities for both residents and visitors. Designated trails winding through these natural areas with spectacular views of the ocean would make for excellent walking, hiking and bird watching. The flat and easily accessed area reaching down to the beach at Kadonaga Bay would be perfect for picnics, educational day camps, community events and day tripping kayakers. Currently, only 4% of Mayne Island is park space, the lowest percentage in the Southern Gulf Islands. With the addition of St. John Point the island’s protected, publicly-accessible space would be increased by 30%.

St. John Point is a Direct Link to Our Past

St. John Point’s beaches, forests and protected harbour in Horton Bay, were undoubtedly well used by the Coast Salish peoples. The point has a Coast Salish name of ŦÁ,WEN, which means “Coho”, and speaks to the historically rich fishing grounds in this area.

In 1890 James Campbell preempted the peninsula and surrounding lands, 317 acres for $317! It was later purchased by Gontaro Kadonaga in 1903 and held by him until 1921 when he divided 192 acres between his oldest son Toru and his brother Kinzo Kadonaga Sasaki’s oldest son Kwanichi Sasaki. In 1943 all Japanese were removed from the island and their properties taken over by the Veterans’ Land Act. After the war Mr. Eddy Sr. acquired the Sasaki land. An old orchard, most likely planted by the Kadonaga/Sasaki families, still stands on the site of the previous Japanese farm and attests to the heritage value of this land.

The proposed transaction would return St. John Point to full Canadian ownership.

Next: Making This Conservation Vision a Reality

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