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General News · 11th November 2015
The 591 Whaletown Land Society has signed a cooperation agreement with Trude and her fundraising team. We have a month - no more - to raise the remaining funds to buy this land as Cortes' most recent legacy project.

We want to extend a great big 'Thank-You' and roses galore to Trude and her team for all their efforts so far, helping to make this community land purchase possible!

In essence, our agreement is about how we will best work together to pull off this fundraising feat and purchase the old 'Trude's Cafe' property. Trude and her team have agreed to support the Society's efforts and to transfer all of their pledges and funds to the Society. Trude's team will continue with their fundraising efforts and events, which raise some funds and most importantly build awareness and goodwill. The Society in turn will be following up with those of you who have pledged to support this project, and helping you turn your promises into cash.

The Society now has an account at Coastal Community Credit Union where funds will be held until they are used on December 7th to buy the land. If the land purchase is not successful, all funds will be returned and the Society will dissolve. But together we can write a different ending!

Trude's team has come up with lots of great ideas for what might happen on this property; the agreement clarifies that future land use and development plans will now be up to the Society to determine. However, at Trude's request, the Society has promised to provide a long-term home for the Whaletown Post Office (which right now has no security on land that is for sale) and a 5-year agreement for Trude to run a small coffee and treat stand. The Society has also agreed to retain the majority of the large trees on the property, to uphold Trude and Sedley's vision of this property as a 'commons - accessible to all,' and to make Trude an honorary member of the Society's board.

In return, Trude has committed to giving the Society right of first refusal if her house on the corner next door is ever put up for sale. This would make just about the whole block on the water side of Whaletown Road community space. It has also been agreed that every effort will be made to build and dedicate a short public trail along and over the creek connecting the bottom corner of the old cafe property to the Gorge Hall parking lot, crossing the bottom corer of Trude's private property.

This means that if we succeed, there will be a pedestrian green at the heart of our public / commercial space linking the old cafe property directly to the Gorge Marina, the Gorge Hall and the public dock beyond.

The Society has agreed to take on the purchase only if a minimum of $120,000 is raised though one-time donations and loans backed by people who commit to donating monthly to pay down those loans. This way, everyone who wants to see this land in community hands can help! Whether it be with a $10,000 donation, a $25,000 loan or a pledge of $10 per month, there is room for everyone!

To contribute to this purchase or to help with the fundraising efforts, please contact the Society: Donations or pledges may be sent to 591 Whaletown Land Society, Box 228, Whaletown, BC V0P 1Z0. Or call 250 935 6728 to contact Sheryl, the Society's Secretary, who will do her best to answer your questions!