Improving access to green spaces—like parks, community gardens, and greenways—builds the community and improves the health of residents.
Read about the:
Reaching our targets will require planting more trees on our streets and in our backyards and public spaces, as well as adding more green space to our existing neighbourhoods. Our Urban Forest Strategy helps guide this work.
Recent initiatives that bring us closer to reaching the Access to Nature goal.
The Park Board and City Council adopted a city-wide Biodiversity Strategy earlier this year.
The Biodiversity Strategy describes strategies to:
Embedded in the Biodiversity Strategy is a new Greenest City target for Access to Nature: to restore or enhance 25 hectares (ha) of natural areas between 2010 and 2020. Twenty-five hectares is about the size of VanDusen Botanical Garden, or half the size of Langara Golf Course.
About 4,100 native trees were planted in parks in 2015.
One of the initiatives by the Park Board is to restore native forests in larger parks such as Jericho, Musqueam, and Everett Crowley parks. Many of these parks are forested with red alder and black cottonwood trees that grew after land clearing; invasive species such as Japanese knotweed and Himalayan blackberry are also common.
The long-term goal is to increase the forest canopy, at the same time enhancing habitat for birds, native mammals, and other species.
The Park Board and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority have teamed up to develop a two hectare salt marsh on the eastern side of New Brighton Park. It is a unique initiative to restore the rich intertidal zone—with marsh areas, mud flats, and tidal channels—that used to make up the south shore of Burrard Inlet.
Salt marshes are critical habitat for fish, particularly migrating juvenile salmon, which feed along the shoreline of Burrard Inlet as they leave the Indian, Seymour, and Capilano rivers, and other small streams.
Get more details about our successes: Read the implementation update for 2015-2016 (8 MB)
Initiatives that brought us closer to reaching the Access to Nature goal from 2014 to 2015.
We created new parks in the following neighourhoods:
In 2014, we:
Canopy cover, the area of the city covered by trees as seen from the air, is commonly used by cities to measure health of the urban forest and the benefits it provides (such as air quality and rainwater absorption). Vancouver’s canopy has been in decline over the last two decades and currently sits at 18%, largely due to the loss of large stature trees on private property.
An excellent indicator of healthy ecosystems, birds provide a link between people and local biodiversity.
Following the City Bird competition during Bird Week 2014, the Vancouver Bird Strategy was passed by City Council and the Park Board in January 2015. It outlines the work necessary to create conditions for native birds to thrive in Vancouver.
In July 2014 the Park Board passed Rewilding Vancouver: An Environmental Education and Stewardship Action Plan.
Over the next five years, we will work with partners to enhance the ability of residents to experience nature and increase understanding and awareness of nature in Vancouver. The plan was developed collaboratively by the Environmental Education and Stewardship Task Force and provides a cohesive set of 49 actions focused on environmental education and stewardship.
Get more details about our successes: Read the implementation update for 2014-2015 (2 MB)
The metrics rely on our:
These metrics are maintained by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.
Get the latest Greenest City news
Sign up for our Greenest City newsletter, and get news on our progress, programs, and initiatives. You'll also be notified of local sustainability events and volunteer opportunities.
Park Board has approved a comprehensive plan to increase the size and quality of Vancouver’s natural areas including forests, wetlands, streams, shorelines, and meadows.
Vancouver's Urban Forest Strategy provides tools for growing and maintaining a healthy, resilient urban forest for future generations. Review the strategy to learn how we plan to protect, plant, and manage Vancouver's urban forest.
The Vancouver Bird Strategy will work to create conditions for native birds to thrive in Vancouver.
Hastings Park / PNE Master Plan: The Fair in the Park — a 30-year initiative to transform the Hastings Park of today into a greener, year-round destination for park use, culture, sport, recreation, and fun.
Residents in Vancouver now have a new way to support the City of Vancouver’s goal to be the greenest city in the world by 2020, with the launch of the Treekeepers Program, which encourages residents and businesses to plant more trees on their property.
We design and build safe, nature-rich paths that encourage you to explore Vancouver without using your car through the Greenways program.
We are working with local organizations to make Vancouver’s parks and gardens friendlier to bumble bees, honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Discover projects underway in your city.