It hosts two long wetlands and is a central link in the proposed Protected Area Network. While it was logged in about 2000, there remain trees beside the wetlands, and the great number of young trees on the property show that in general there is excellent regeneration on this agricultural class land. The forest will eventually mature as the Coastal Douglas-fir type, increasingly rare in our region.
One hectare of Central Park has been donated to Denman Island Memorial Society for a Natural Burial Cemetery.
For further information about the cemetery see: http://dinbc.ca/contact-us/
The Central Park land has a number of excellent walking trails that Conservancy makes available for public use. See Trail Map below.
By Jenny Balke
This property fulfills two major conservation roles: the immediate protection of valuable wetland habitat, and the protection of a future moist Coastal Douglas-fir forest. Characteristics of the re-growing forest suggest that if allowed to reach old growth, one of the forest types may be among the rare and threatened forest communities in BC. The potential forest types or site series are CDFmm site series 05 “Western red cedar, Douglas-Fir – Kindbergia”, to CDFmm site series 06 “Western red cedar, Grand fir – Foamflower”, the first of which (05) is RED LISTED in climax condition. Thus, in addition to contributing a relatively large area of forest habitat, the type of habitat may become valuable on a provincial scale. The wetlands themselves are a fairly common “type” in the Georgia Depression, but wetlands in general are relatively rare in the southeast coastal lowlands of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The wetlands on this property are relatively undamaged and thus represent a valuable example of a well-developed wetland community, which may harbour other uncommon species.
(extract from: Ecological Overview Old School Property “Central Park Nature Reserve” March 2006)
Birds of Central Park
In the spring of 2011 Mike Morrell led a series of weekly bird walks in Central Park. Dennis Forsyth, an experienced Denman birder, and Mike Super, a wildlife biologist with extremely sensitive and educated ears, were present on nearly every excursion. In addition, they were joined by a total of 15 volunteer observers, each attending from one to several walks.
Over a total of 14 morning walks, all the counts combined, they identified a total of 64 species with certainty and 3 more with some uncertainty.
About the Property
- Area is 147 Acres or 60 Hectares
- Zoning is Agriculture A(1)
- It is in the Agricultural Land Reserve
- Minimum lot size 64 Hectares, therefore only one residence is permitted.
- The land was partly logged using horses in 1998 and then logged extensively in 2000.
Central Park, New York City is well known, but did you know that it has an area of 843 Acres? And that Manhattan Island is almost the same size as Denman Island, even having a similar shape? Of course we do not have any ambition to duplicate the 250 acres of lawn that New Yorkers so love to have in their park. See below for our own Central Park Vision.
Our Central Park Vision
The map above shows the Central Park property (orange #5) on Denman Road and the various conservation and Crown blocks that make a chain of lands all the way from the middle of the Island up to the Railway Grade Marsh (red outline #9) including Chickadee Lake.
DCA’s goal of protecting a large contiguous block of land was what we called our Central Park Vision at the time we purchased the Central Park property. The total acreage shown in the coloured blocks from Denman Road to Chickadee Lake is a little less than 800 acres, comparable with the area of Central Park in New York City.
With the establishment of the Denman Island BC Provincial Park our vision that all this land should ultimately be conserved for nature and some recreational use has been achieved.
Comparing the map above with the Protected Area Network map prepared by Silva Ecological Consultants we see that Central Park, having within it the headwaters of the Graveyard Marsh, provides the main network linkage between the northern and southern parts of the Island. As well, one of its other wetlands connects it to the Beadnell Creek drainage that flows down to Fillongly Park.
The BC Provincial Park area includes Chickadee Lake, which DCA tried hard to purchase but was unable to reach agreement on a price with 4064 Investments. The entire shoreline of Chickadee Lake now has protected status.
The connection of all these blocks of land provides an opportunity to establish walking trails that stretch from the Old School to Winter Wren Wood on the shore of Chickadee Lake and beyond to the Railway Grade Marsh.