Vancouver Park Board wants nature in the city, not an urban jungle
February 2 2016
"Our Biodiversity Strategy lays the foundation for the sustained ecological health of our city,” says Park Board Chair, Sarah Kirby-Yung.
Vancouver Park Board has approved a comprehensive plan to increase the size and quality of Vancouver’s natural areas including:
The Biodiversity Strategy will expand vital habitat for:
- Urban salmon and herring
- Wildlife such as beavers and otters
At a regular Board meeting last night, Commissioners unanimously approved the implementation of a new eleven-part action plan to promote, protect, and enhance the urban wildlife that Vancouverites cherish.
"Our Biodiversity Strategy lays the foundation for the sustained ecological health of our city,” says Park Board Chair, Sarah Kirby-Yung. “It’s the road map for improving access to nature for all Vancouverites and ensuring biodiversity is a celebrated part of city life well into the future.”
Biodiversity Strategy builds on example of Habitat Island
With this strategy the Park Board continues to look beyond its traditional role as a custodian of green spaces, with a vision for an urban environment in harmony with nature. A good example is its creation of Hinge Park and Habitat Island at Olympic Village.
Today, the island and adjacent intertidal area and storm water-fed wetland in Hinge Park host freshwater wetland, rocky intertidal zone, and shoreline forest.
“Hinge Park is a prime example of how with a little creativity we can introduce novel habitats for biodiversity into dense urban neighbourhoods,” says Nick Page, Park Board biologist. “Thanks to the success of Hinge Park we’re actively exploring similar opportunities across the city.”
Herring now spawn on the cobble intertidal zone of Habitat Island while surrounding willow and shrub thickets provide a rich habitat for songbirds.
A pair of beavers made the Hinge Park wetland their home in summer 2015. They've cut down trees and shrubs for food and lodge building material, but they are also well-loved by many in the local community as a symbol of Vancouver's relationship with nature.
Park Board will restore or enhance 25 hectares of natural areas by 2020
Similar success stories exist across the city where, with a little ingenuity, the Park Board is protecting, restoring and enhancing the size and quality of Vancouver’s natural areas.
Working with community partners Park Board has restored close to 13 hectares of forests in:
- Stanley Park
- Musqueam Park
- Jericho Park
- Everett Crowley Park
- Fraserview Golf Course
- Langara Golf Course
The Biodiversity action plan will restore or enhance an additional 25 hectares of natural areas by 2020 – that’s more than 25 football fields!
Blue heron colonies
Through Park Board conservation work, Stanley Park continues to play host to one of the largest urban great blue heron colonies in North America.
Ongoing work to restore Still Creek was rewarded by the return of more than 20 chum salmon in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Shoreline and sub tidal habitats
The Park Board is working closely with Port Metro Vancouver on restoring shoreline and sub tidal habitats along Burrard Inlet. The restoration of the salt marsh at New Brighton Park is expected to be the first of its kind in British Columbia.
Watch for a tree sale this spring to help grow our urban tree canopy
Park Board is leading the Urban Forest Strategy and will restore native forests in Stanley Park, Jericho Beach Park, Musqueam Park, Everett Crowley Park, Renfrew Ravine Park, and other parks.
It plans to distribute up to 3,000 low cost trees during a spring planting event to encourage you to grow the urban canopy.
Other planning actions under the new strategy
Other planned actions under the new strategy include:
- Working with the City to better control invasive species
- Incorporating pollinator meadows into new and existing parks
- Empowering you to enhance the ecological health of your own backyards through education programs