Volunteer stewards of Macdonald Wood Park
Macdonald Wood Park Society
Fran Johnson Wild Life Sanctuary
Bequeathed to Macdonald Wood Park Society
Fran Johnson moved to the Comox Valley In 1968 with her family. In 1979 she purchased the property on Isabel Road, Lot PT22, Plan2657, DL87. Comox Land District. She paid the owner the $30,000 he was asking. A couple of years later Fran moved to her 3 acres of woods. Fran built her basic home in a small clearing and developed her beloved garden at the south end of the property. Fran put 24 pages of very restrictive conservation covenants on the property, even though it limited the own use of her land. She had a vision and she protected her property fiercely.
Fran lived modestly, worked hard in her community, grew much of her own food organically, kept bees, fed the birds and adored her dogs. She loved the blues, and listened whenever she could. An avid reader, she kept up to date on a wide variety of subjects, and was a dedicated supporter of many worthwhile causes here in the Valley and elsewhere. These included such as the C.V. Naturalists, Seed-Savers, Greenpeace, Knowledge Network. She was a founder of MWPS and served, with great passion, on the Board of Directors for over 20 years. She worked as Area Librarian for the Vancouver Island Regional Library.
In Fran’s own words “This property carries a conservation covenant on title which places firm, definite restrictions on the use of this property. There can be no new buildings or structures or roads. No trees may be removed. The property is to remain in its natural state. This property does not have real estate value as there is no longer any potential for development.”
Fran describes her property as “This is a treed property - a little forest - a microcosm of what used to be in the Comox Valley. It is second growth after being logged in the early 1900s. Some trees are now over a metre in diameter. There are the usual small native trees with flowers and shrubs as well. There is a wetland in the northern end of the property. There is a small herd of deer that live here as well as many birds. The great blue herons use the tall trees for resting after fishing in the Comox Bay at Croteau Beach and roost here at night. The pileated woodpeckers, flickers and owls are plentiful. Cougars and bears have been known to roam through this property.”
Fran Johnson lived on her property until her death in 2016, at which time it was gifted to to the Macdonald Wood Park Society. The Society and its members are proud to honour this bequest, and to see that the covenants she registered with the Comox Valley Land Trust are upheld in perpetuity. It is a safe place for flora and fauna.
Donations to MWPS to support the maintenance of this Wild Life Sanctuary are gratefully accepted, and are tax deductible.
Chief Norman Frank Jan '96
Directors April 2019
Kerren Shalanski President
Kris Nielsen Vice President
Diane Maxted Treasurer
Elaine Codling Director
Frank Hovenden Director
Diane Duncan Director
Lorraine Aitken Director
Macdonald Wood Park Society
PO Box 1301 PS A
Comox BC V9M 7Z8
A one-time contribution of $45 provides life membership. Send cheques to MWPS Membership, PO B0x 1301 PS A, Comox BC V9M 7Z8. In addition to your home address, because of the high cost of postage an email address is much appreciated. Our member's info will never be shared with other organizations.
Macdonald Wood Park
2 March 2016
GOOD NEWS FOR MACDONALD WOOD
At its meeting of Tuesday 1 March, the Comox Valley Sewage Commission decided to suspend its planning for a major pumping station and sewer forcemains on the Croteau Road beach access to Macdonald Wood Park in Comox.
Because of the efforts of the growing coalition of people working to protect the park, the right-of-way trail will remain as the public entrance to the park’s foreshore and Rotary boardwalk. The alder wetland and salt marsh – documented by Environment Canada as a valuable and now-rare habitat on Comox Bay – will not be affected by excavation. One of the largest intact sections of ancient midden on the bay will be left undisturbed. Large second-growth trees will remain standing on the beach right-of-way and along the park’s Sunrise Trail adjacent to Croteau Road.
MWPS president emeritus Fran Johnson welcomed the news, saying “It’s wonderful! Thanks go to everyone working and caring for Macdonald Wood.”
The lack of public support for the sewage proposal played a large role in the commission’s decision. As of last week, at least 700 letters and emails had been sent to the local office of the Ministry of Transportation, calling on the province to retain the public right-of-way at Croteau Road. New technical reports, formally received by the commission on Tuesday, make it clear that excavation, construction, and operation on the restricted and sensitive site would be problematic.
The board of directors of Macdonald Wood Park Society recognizes the ongoing commitment of its 600 members and many supporters to protect the ten acres of older second-growth forest, enjoyed by so many valley residents and visitors. The park property was purchased by MWPS, the Town of Comox, and the province, after a long and determined effort, and became a town park in 1996.
Celebrating its twentieth anniversary as a public park, Macdonald Wood has once again been protected and will continue as a peaceful refuge.