A 2.2-acre island in Ladysmith Harbour will be maintained in its natural state as the latest regional parkland acquisition by the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
Bute Island, long held under private ownership, can now be visited by residents and visitors to the Cowichan region. With a day-use accessible dock that can accommodate kayaks, canoes, and smaller vessels, people will be able to explore the islands unique flora and fauna and enjoy beautiful panoramic views of Ladysmith and other islands dotting the harbour. The interior of the island provides a rustic, low impact natural trail walk with access to small pocket bays along the foreshore that can be explored during low tide.
“Adding Bute Island to our roster of regional parkland ensures the stewardship of a small piece of land that holds tremendous ecological and aesthetic value, and has significant cultural importance to local First Nations community members,” said Ian Morrison, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. “This an exciting opportunity for CVRD to expand its regional parks for the benefit of residents, and further strengthen the tourism sector of the southern Gulf Islands and Ladysmith area.”
The purchase was completed in Spring 2018 for a price of $750,000. However additional time was required to also complete the transfer of the water lot lease for the existing dock/wharf, as well as repairs and upgrades to the wharf/pier to meet public safety standards. The CVRD also completed a risk assessment and dealt with hazard trees in order to open up the rustic trail, and installed signage.
At this time there are no planned upgrades or changes to the island, as they intend to preserve it in its natural state as much as possible.