HOW WE GOT HERE
In 1857, just over 160 years ago,
brothers John and Mark Coles set up a trading store and became the first resident settlers to the area.
Around them, and since time immemorial, the W ̱SÁNEĆ people have practised their cultural version of land management & stewardship. Their medicines, foods & materials came largely from this land and waters – a truly robust local food system!
Geographically, the Sandown site sits between two village sites:
the original Tseycum village called W̱SE¸IKEM, or Tsehum Harbour, on the east side of the peninsula,
and the later village site on the west side, where the Tseycum community lives today.
As North Saanich became a centre for agricultural activity, the lands now known as Sandown
became part of the 500 acre (!) Glamorgan Farm.
The handsome buildings from this historic family farm are still in operation, right across the road.
Aerial photographs from 1952 show the first signs of work on two racetracks which became the Sandown Racetrack.
Horse races took place here for over 50 years, and many locals have fond memories of the excitement of those races.
In 2014, the District of North Saanich approved the transfer of this Agricultural Land Reserve land to the municipality
as part of the priority actions in the District's Agricultural Strategy. After a period of community consultation and input called Vision Sandown (led by the superlative local food organisation CRFAIR), land title was transferred in November 2017. There was strong community sentiment for Sandown to serve as a site for local food production, teaching & learning, supporting emerging famers, and land and water stewardship.
From this, the vision for Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture (SCRA) has emerged.
Read on to discover the exciting future for this land and how you can be involved...
And: let us take this moment to recognise the support of our key funding partners.
We couldn't do this without your support & leadership!