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General News · 20th June 2014
Ralph Nursall
The following letter was read at the community meeting concerning the Whaletown Commons, on Tuesday, June 17. In the light of wider interest expressed, it is reprinted here.


Mary & Ralph Nursall,
P.O. Box 37,
Whaletown, BC, Canada,

16 June, 2014

To the Directors, Strathcona Regional District

The parcel of land on Cortes Island, known locally as “The Whaletown Commons”, lies between Whaletown Road and Jocelyn Road, with access from both south and north sides. It is crossed by a small salmon stream in a picturesque draw. It has remnants of old growth forest, a network of marked, tended trails, with occasional benches for rest and the island flora and fauna for company.

The Whaletown Commons has taken on the role of a public space, shared by all, a change from our own sequestered domains, rather freer and fresher than our own strictly tended gardens and developments. The Commons provides a fresh and stimulating public space, a change of scene, another viewscape, an extra experience, a chance to jostle thoughts beyond self and schedules!

The Commons property is not a huge forest resource, but if it is left to that purpose it will end as a large brutalized area of temperature extremes, a much reduced and changed flora and fauna, a magnet for industrial or massive residential development. The chances are much better, it seems to me, that if taken in care by the island community the Commons will take on incalculable value as an attractive place of respite. It will have community uses not yet realized. It will be an example of community recognition of the value of places of restraint and relaxation. Just to know of the availability of such a location is a buoyant force for a community!

We have the opportunity to enhance the attractiveness of the Whaletown area, as well as to get a tract of land that may well provide future residents with a resource that they can benefit from, in ways we cannot now imagine. I say that we should seize the opportunity before us and use the money set aside for this very purpose to establish the Whaletown Commons for the present and future benefit of Cortes Island.

J. R. Nursall