Photo Credit: BC Parks Foundation

Island in Salish Sea Saved

Threatened coastal Douglas Fir ecosystems on Saturnina Island and nearby Lasqueti Island will be protected

An endangered Douglas fir ecosystem on the dry side of Vancouver Island gets preserved

Lululemom Athletica founder Chip Wilson and his fashion-designer wife Shannon have donated $4 million to the BC Parks Foundation to fund the purchase of threatened coastal Douglas Fir ecosystems in the Salish Sea.

The gift, made through the Wilson 5 Foundation, will enable the preservation of Saturnina Island and a 1/2 square km waterfront section of land on nearby Lasqueti Island.

Wilson, who made his initial fortune as a yoga-wear mogul, said in a news release that some places on the West Coast are “virtually untouched” and the family wants to make sure they remain that way “forever.”

Shannon Wilson hopes more private donors step up to protect such areas.

“With the growing global concern of climate change and species loss, we want to make sure that people who share those interests and those concerns have the ability to participate in protecting these really diverse lands,” she said.’

Coastal Douglas fir ecosystems are at risk, as are many species that live in them, and much of it is owned privately. Andrew Day, CEO of the BC Parks Foundation, says buying land when it hits the market is key to its preservation.

“We are thrilled that the Wilson family is participating in our fast-growing movement to keep Canada’s Pacific coast beautiful,” says Day.

The announcement also publicized the Wilsons’ anonymous donation that primed the foundation’s crowdfunding purchase and protection of West Ballenas Island. Saturnina, West Ballenas and Lasqueti islands are located off the east coast of Vancouver Island.

The BC Parks Foundation is a charitable organization that partners with BC Parks to engage with companies, private donors, and sponsors to grow and support the parks system throughout BC.