A couple of years ago there was some controversy surrounding The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve (MABR) and whether it would keep its UNESCO designation, but an update from Parksville Mayor Chris Burger at Monday night’s council meeting shows a positive outlook.
“It’s been going very well, I’ve been really pleased with the university being involved, it has kind of changed the dynamic quite significantly,” he told The News this week.
Earlier this year Vancouver Island University and the City of Parksville signed a memorandum of understanding with the foundation responsible for the MABR to support and protect the its designation. The current Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Foundation board is being dismantled and Burger said it is transitioning into a new structure which will be more like an association involving big industry players and other stakeholders. At Monday’s council meeting Burger asked council to take $16,500 in funds that were remaining with the old MABF structure and keep it in trust until the new structure is established.