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  • Hunter Cresswell

Residents save Wakefield forest

Action Chelsea for the Respect of the Environment officials signed the deed of sale to protect Wakefield’s Hundred Acre Wood in perpetuity on the afternoon of deadline day.

On March 31, ACRE president Stephen Woodley, land trust director Olaf Jensen, and board member Bronwyn Rayfield met in notary and legal advisor Megan Throop’s Chelsea office to sign the deal. They invited the Low Down to tag along to witness history.

“It’s a bit surreal,” Jensen said.

The $1.5 million fundraiser began in March 2021 and now the 100-acre parcel just east of Chemin Rockhurst near Wakefield will be protected as greenspace for non-motorized recreational use in perpetuity. Private donations and pledges total over $500,000, while grant funding, including a municipality of La Pêche grant of $16,080 from its municipal Green Fund, and the National Capital Commission’s $100,000 grant, and others totalled $865,000, Jensen said.

A stewardship committee is being formed that will advise the ACRE board what decisions to make about the land’s use.

One of the biggest questions that community members have asked about the fundraiser is access.

For decades Chemin Rockhurst residents have walked paths through their neighbour’s properties – with permission – to access the forest. The land