A new 8.4-hectare park, located close to Shawnigan Lake, has been announced. (Submitted photo)

New 8.4-hectare park donated in Cowichan Valley

Drs. Jagdis K and Sarjit K. Siddoo Park located just west of Shawnigan Lake

TimberWest and the Siddoo family have announced the donation and creation of the Drs. Jagdis K and Sarjit K. Siddoo Park, an 8.4-hectare park in the Cowichan Valley.

The new park is located six kilometres from the Koksilah River Provincial Park, just west of Shawnigan Lake.

The park consists of old trees and second-growth forest, the fish-bearing Koksilah River and 3 Mile Creek as well as known local hiking trails.

Together, TimberWest worked with the Siddoo family to raise title to the land and donate the full parcel to the Cowichan Valley Regional District with a conservation covenant to guide future park use jointly held by the Cowichan Land Trust and the Nanaimo Area Land Trust.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will officially recognize the new park as the Drs. Jagdis K and Sarjit K. Siddoo Park.

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The story behind the Siddoo Family and Kapoor Lumber goes back more than 100 years to 1906, when Mr. Kapoor Singh Siddoo emigrated to Canada from India, eventually prospering in the lumber industry in B.C.

Kapoor Lumber still continues today as a sustainable operating forest enterprise.

Moreover, the Siddoo Family has a rich history of giving back to Canada through supporting various university scholarships and health and wildlife charities.

Therefore, Drs. Jagdis K and Sarjit K. (late) Siddoo wished this parcel of land in all its beauty and natural state to be donated for the establishment as a park in perpetuity.

“We want to thank the Siddoo family and TimberWest for their generous gift to our region with the Drs. Jagdis K and Sarjit K. Siddoo Park,” said Jon Lefebure, chairman of the CVRD.

“This donation has been a 20-year undertaking, and I would like to recognize both parties for their persistent dedication on working together for the benefit of all residents in the Cowichan Valley.”

On behalf of the Siddoo Family, Dr. Chanda Siddoo-Atwal said that he is delighted that a dream to establish this new park has now been realized.

“My aunt and late mother loved to walk among the trees and nature, as I do,” said Siddoo-Atwal.

“With the establishment of the Drs. Jagdis K and Sarjit K. Siddoo Park, this beautiful space can now be enjoyed by all. The Siddoo family thanks both TimberWest and Mr. Bruce Smith of Kapoor Lumber Co, who have worked on this important initiative over the past few years.”

A formal park opening ceremony will take place on Oct. 5.

More details about the celebration will be released in the weeks to come.

“TimberWest is pleased to contribute towards the creation of this new riverside park located in the heart of Vancouver Island,” said Jeff Zweig, president and CEO of TimberWest.

“It has been a pleasure to work with the Siddoos on donating this recreational site for the benefit of neighbouring communities and visitors for generations to come. It represents a wonderful addition to the network of parks and trails that TimberWest has helped create over the years.”

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