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General News · 26th August 2011
Richard Trueman, Noba Anderson
Hank’s Beach Park Celebration
It is a rare treat when we gather to celebrate the wild, our connection to it, and the people who have take action to preserve these spaces where we connect with the wild within. That is what happened on Wednesday, August 24th 2011, at the Hank’s Beach Forest Conservation Park opening celebration. 100 Cortes Islanders, friends and respected guests, children and elders, swimmers and poets, walked to the beach along well loved trails through what is now a 153 acre Regional District park!

The remarkable story of this land was woven and told by many bards. Bruce Ellingsen shared a bit about ‘Hank’ or Henry Herrewig who, in 1922, received a Crown homesteader grant including Hank’s Beach where he built a shack, and the various owners and logging history that ensued. It was Joel Solomon and Carol Newel through Renewal Lands that began the process of returning the land back to public ownership and public use through their purchase of the land in 2006 – and were well honoured for that deed. Renewal initiated ecological mapping, as shared by Sabina, which provided the baseline for The Land Conservancy’s ecological covenant that now runs in perpetuity with the land title.

Renewal, not being in a position to donate the land outright, connected with Phil Straus, a long-time Hollyhock guest and resident of Philadelphia, who, shocked by the clear-cutting on Bartholomew Road, was moved to purchase the land from Renewal through a donation to the Tides Foundation and donate it in its entirety to the Strathcona Regional District as a park for all to enjoy. Phil, although unable to attend the celebration in person, was well honoured in absentia – and will receive shortly a large art card signed by many gathered in gratitude.

We invite all to enjoy this land, however, we ask you to refrain from building fires and camping, but do encourage singing and skinny dipping! This land is held primarily as a wild place and in that spirit will receive a very light management touch – no more than a outhouse and sign will change in this place that so many of us have come to love.

Enjoy, Noba Anderson
Regional Director
Strathcona Regional District

Click on the link below to see 24 pictures of this event. Click on a thumbnail to see the bigger picture and then on the word "next" to see all 24