Children four and under to get Park Board services for free in 2019

December 20 2018

“I’m very pleased with this change. For a long time I’ve wanted to reduce financial barriers so more families can access our programs and services for healthier and happier lives,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.

The Vancouver Park Board has approved its $129 million operating budget and a $63.7 million capital budget for new projects, as well as fees and charges for 2019—making drop in activities even more affordable for families.

The Board approved a motion that the children up to four years of age be classified as preschool and access services for free beginning January 1, 2019.

“I’m very pleased with this change. For a long time I’ve wanted to reduce financial barriers so more families can access our programs and services for healthier and happier lives,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.

Board reviews and adjusts its fees annually

Fee increases are often required to maintain existing levels of service.

The $63.7 million capital budget is the largest in the Park Board’s history—$24.5 million more than the one approved last year. Some notable Park Board capital projects are:

  • $18 million for park amenities such as playgrounds and washrooms
  • $10 million for new park land
  • $8 million for programmed activity areas such as new and renewed turf and fields, and golf course improvements
  • $2.5 million to complete restoration work on the Stanley Park Seawall
  • $2 million to increase the urban canopy and reach the goal of planting 150,000 trees by 2020
  • $1 million to complete the design of the new Marpole Oakridge Community Centre and outdoor pool

An additional $610,000 has also been approved to increase horticulture service standards and improve cleanliness in parks across the city.

“I’m very pleased that the City of Vancouver supported our special request for $610,000. This means more ‘TLC’ will be given to our parks and gardens on a regular basis by our operations teams. The money restores funding that had been shifted to other priorities at the Park Board,” said Mackinnon.

The City of Vancouver approved the Park Board budget earlier this week.