VICTORIA | February 17, 2011
A North Pender family have permanently protected their property with a conservation covenant. The protected area, dedicated to the Kikuchi family's ancestors and future generations, will remain naturally beautiful forever. The conservation covenant ensures the property's forest and wetland will never be developed even after the Kikuchi's are gone.
A certified organic farmer, Arthur Kikuchi moved to North Pender Island in 2000 because the landscape reminded him of Japan where he grew up. Arthur's passion for the natural environment was nurtured from a young age by his father, a lifelong naturalist specializing in the protection of wetlands and forests. In 2009, after Arthur received an inheritance from his parents, he chose to continue his father's vision by purchasing a forested lot on North Pender with the intent to protect it in its natural state. With the help of the Islands Trust Fund (the Islands Trust's land conservancy), the Pender Islands Conservancy Association, and the Nancy Waxler Morrison Biodiversity Protection Fund, Arthur and his family permanently protected the property with a conservation covenant.
Walking the property recently, Arthur talked about his decision to purchase the property, now named the Kikuchi Memorial - Frog Song Forest Covenant, solely for protection. "I wanted to use the money they left me to do something that would make them proud. So I covenanted the property. Whenever I come here, I feel my parents' presence. They never saw the property, but it's their lives, their work that protected it. I know they'd be proud of this legacy."
Arthur shared his outlook on protecting the land as his four children playing among the branches of a nearby cedar. "People can't own the land. We're only borrowing it from the future. When we die, we can't take what we own with us. Therefore, our legacies are what we leave behind. I want to leave this protected place behind for my children, their children and the next generations in my community. That's what makes me most happy about the covenant."
To protect the natural features of the land, the conservation covenant restricts what the property's owner can do on the land. The covenant prevents anyone from removing native plants, using pesticides, dumping fill or garbage, or building on the property. A covenant is registered on the title of the land ensuring the restrictions apply to future landowners as well.
To learn how you can protect your land with a conservation covenant, or for a list of local land trusts in your area that could help you protect your land, visit www.islandstrustfund.bc.ca or call 250-405-5186 (Victoria) or toll free through Enquiry BC at 1-800-663-7867 (604-660-2421 in Vancouver).
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Manager, Islands Trust Fund