Greenest City

January, 2018


  • New year, new bike maps from the City
  • Learn about the Tatlow Creek restoration
  • Volunteer for the Places for People Strategy
  • Invasive spotlight on English Ivy
Nearly 300 shoreline photos were posted to the King Tide StoryMap by Vancouver citizens during December and January King Tides, helping to show what the shoreline will look like in 2100, when sea levels are expected to be one meter higher. While we did not experience storm surges during these months, which would have increased coastal flooding, we did see the impact of the king tides on low lying areas. See for yourself and learn more:


If you know where you are going, getting around by bike can be convenient, affordable and fun.
Whenever you decide to hop on your bike or a Mobi, having a pocket-sized map of Vancouver makes choosing your route easier.  When you can see the type of routes available and the topography, you can plan to avoid the hills or head for them. You can also ride your bike on almost all Vancouver streets.
The updated Fall 2017 map showcases Vancouver’s expanding bike network and increasing kilometres of all ages and abilities bikeways. You will even see the new Arbutus Greenway, an all ages and abilities route, just beginning its life as a north-south active transportation corridor.  The expanding bike network is part of the Greenest City Action Plan and Transportation 2040 Plan and supports the growing number of trips made by walking, biking, rolling or taking transit.
Maps also include vital information on the rules of the road, bicycle infrastructure and transit connections. Take a minute to pick one up for yourself.


Download an updated map here or pick on up in person at:

  • City Hall information desk (453 West 12th Avenue, Ground Floor, open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm)
  • Engineering Services (507 West Broadway, 5th Floor, open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm)
  • Vancouver Public Library branches
  • Vancouver Park Board community centres and pools
  • Biking events
  • Bicycle shops



The Vancouver Park Board is restoring the stream that once flowed in Volunteer and Tatlow parks, located near Point Grey Road. This project is a unique opportunity to recreate a former stream and restore the English Bay shoreline. The historical stream was buried as the city was developed and, while a small section of the stream still exists in Tatlow Park, the majority of water flows through an underground pipe network that flows to the Iona Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The project supports goals of the Biodiversity Strategy to enhance Vancouver’s natural areas and improve access to nature. The stream restoration also aligns with the Rain City Strategy’s green infrastructure goal to improve water quality and make the city more resilient to heavy rain and flooding. This initiative will help filter the polluted water drawn from impervious surfaces like parking lots and roads through a green infrastructure approach that mimics natural ecological processes. It will also reduce the amount of rainwater that is treated in our regional sewage treatment system. 


Attend the open house on January 27 at the Kitsilano Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. You’ll find the latest details on the refined concept plan, the next steps to bring water to the stream, and the challenges and goals related to the stream restoration.
If you can’t make it to the open house, check out the initiative page to stay informed on the project’s progress. You can even check out the displays from previous open houses.
Water to supply the creek will come from urban stormwater catchments and it’s neccessary to ensure storm and sanitary connections on private property are separated before they can contribute to the creek. Would you be interested in finding out if water from your home can contribute to Tatlow Creek? If it hasn’t been separated, you may qualify for a grant towards the cost of pipe separation on your property. To learn more, send an e-mail or call Steven Durfee at 604-873-7823.



The City of Vancouver is conducting a Public Space and Public Life (PSPL) Study in partnership with Gehl Architects to collect ‘people data’ to better understand how people use and spend time in Downtown Vancouver. The PSPL Study's findings will be used to inform a Downtown Public Space Strategy and help bring the strategy from vision to action.
Our summer PSPL study attracted over 250 volunteers. In general, we heard that people feel positively about Downtown Vancouver, but there is room for improvement. People would like more opportunities for spending time Downtown, with a variety of activities and amenities. Additionally, we also heard that Downtown Vancouver's public realm has great opportunities for social interaction with 64% reporting that they interacted with someone they did not plan to meet, and 50% interacted with someone new.
The winter phase of the PSPL study will span forty different public spaces across the downtown – from plazas to streets, beaches to laneways, and everything in between – contributing to a comprehensive study of how public life functions in Vancouver's downtown neighbourhoods during the colder and darker winter months. Volunteer tasks include behavioural mapping, pedestrian counts and intercept surveys.  


Sign up for a survey shift! Volunteer survey shifts are on February 1 and February 3. Shifts will be four hours long between 8:00am and 8:00pm. You are welcome to participate in more than one shift. Required training will take place on January 31 at UBC Robson Square (Room C300) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.



During this time of year our gardens and yards may be looking a little bare. This is a perfect time to inspect your garden and yard for invasive plants. Invasive plants are species that are not native to our local ecosystems and spreads aggressively in ways that displace other plants. These plants are typically difficult to control and can damage the local ecology if left unmanaged.
While most invasive plants are best managed in the spring when they emerge, English ivy (Hedera helix) can be visible as early as February. This vine is a serious, smothering invasive plant found in much of southwestern BC, introduced from Europe as an ornamental. It is commonly planted to provide quick cover for walls and buildings, and as ground cover in commercial landscapes. Unfortunately, it can quickly form a dense monoculture that crowds out other vegetation, and is unsuitable for most wildlife habitat. It is trouble on slopes as it doesn’t secure soils very well as it climbs up tree trunks and strangles trees to death.
Organizations like the Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) work tirelessly with local community members to manage the spread and build awareness about English ivy, and have even worked with environmental artists to harvest and process the vines for weaving. English ivy isn’t the only invasive challenge; groups like the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver (ISCMV) work across the entire region with municipalities and organizations to improve the way we manage invasive species.


See ivy in your yard? Luckily, English ivy is easy to manage! With some pruners, and in some cases a saw or axe for well-established ivy, you can manage ivy on your property. If you want to keep some ivy please make sure to cut ivy to ground level. Once ivy starts growing upright it will sprout berries which contributes to spreading the invasive weed. Cut back ivy to the ground or remove it completely. You can put your cuttings in the green bin!
Want to stop the spread of ivy in our parks? Check out SPES’s EcoStewards program and join other volunteers to help preserve the ecosystem at Stanley Park – on Jan 20 and 27. If you live on the east side, check out the work that Evergreen is doing at Renfrew Ravine to improve the health of the Still Creek watershed – next event on Jan 28.
Visit ISCMV’s site to learn more about priority plants – aside from ivy, plants like knotweed and giant hogweed are also posing big problems in the city.





UBC Sustainability Scholars Info Session
Jan 18
Are you currently a UBC graduate student who wants to tackle sustainability problems? Come find paid opportunities to work on real-world problems!
EcoStewards Invasive Plant Removal
Jan 20, 27
Natural habitats in Stanley Park are being impacted by invasive species. You can help enhance Vancouver’s largest urban forest at this event! Free.
Stanley Park Nature House (Lost Lagoon)
EcoTEAM Invasive Plant Removal
Jan 20, 27
Come help the EcoTEAM remove invasive species in a Forest Restoration site! Snacks, gloves, and tools will be provided, but dress for the weather. Free (online registration required).
University Hill School
Beyond the Blue Box Recycle Depot
Jan 20
Have you got a lot of stuff to recycle? Come check out this convenient recycling event and get rid of your junk!
Britannia Centre Parking Lot
Conversation Circle – Land Grab
Jan 21
You can cultivate a relationship with the plants of this land by learning about the protocols of foraging local Indigenous plant species. This even features speakers and a chance to make a fish net out of nettle fibres! Free.
Roundhouse Arts Centre
Place-based Education: Nature as Teacher
Jan 25
Do we spend too much time indoors? Is nature-deficit disorder real? Come find out how our natural surroundings can teach us science and improve our mental health.
Unitarian Centre (949 West 49th Ave)
Tatlow and Volunteer Park stream restoration open house
Jan 27
Did you know that the Park Board is restoring a historical stream? Find out more about their plan, challenges, and goals at this open house.
VPL’s Kitsilano Branch
Stream Water Quality Monitoring
Jan 27
Want to keep our natural landscape healthy? Come measure the chemical and physical qualities of Spanish Banks Stream with the Pacific Spirit Park Society. Free (online registration required).
Spanish Banks Creek
Uncover Your Creeks – Renfrew Ravine
Jan 28
Learn about the local ecology of the Still Creek watershed, help manage invasive species, and monitor water quality.
29th Ave and Atlin
Birds of a Feather: Wings of Winter
Jan 28
The weather outside may still be frightful, but many bird species call the Park home in the chilliest months of the year. Join in on this two-hour, easy walking exploration to learn about winter bird identification and behaviour. By donation.
Stanley Park Nature House (Lost Lagoon)
Talk: Climate Policy Options for GHG Reduction
Jan 29
Want to know more about carbon pricing? Come listen to Professor Mark Jaccard speak about climate policy options and ways to reduce emissions. Free.
UBC Asian Studies

The Imperial Metropolis: The Soy Supply Chain
Jan 31
Interested in food security? Come listen to Dr. Gaston Gordillo speak about the soy supply chain in South America.
UBC – Liu Institute for Global Issues
Extreme Survivors: Winter Wildlife
Feb 11
From chickadees to crows, insects to amphibians, and shrews to squirrels, animals display a bewildering variety of adaptations for surviving the winter. Bundle up for this discovery walk, and explore how wintering animals beat the cold. $5-$10.
Stanley Park Nature House (Lost Lagoon)
Film Viewing: “Flying Dinosaurs in the City”
Feb 15
Nestle in and watch a film by local filmmaker and biologist Maria Morlin. This movie features the great blue herons of Vancouver, including those in the 100-nest-strong Stanley Park heronry. $5-$10.
Stanley Park Nature House (Lost Lagoon)



Pour grease down the sink and it quickly hardens into a congealed, gluey mess. The result? Clogged pipes, backed-up sewers, and expensive repairs. It doesn't matter how much hot water or soap you pour down after it. Sooner or later it solidifies.

For small amounts of grease, wipe or scrape out the pot or pan and put the grease into your green bin. Got lots? drop it off at an approved recycling depot. More info at


City of Vancouver - 453 West 12th Avenue - Vancouver - BC - V5Y 1V4