After the Stanley Park windstorm

In December 2006, a devastating windstorm struck Stanley Park. The storm leveled 41 hectares of forest, causing extensive damage to the Seawall, and creating a crisis situation that required an organization-wide response.

The crisis presented incredible challenges, but also extraordinary and unexpected opportunities.

How the city united

Staff developed a restoration plan and set out to enlist the help of a diverse range of experts. Creative partnerships were formed, and leaders from a broad range of fields were recruited to assist in developing and implementing the plan.

The public concern for the park resulted in a level of financial and in-kind support that made the $10-million restoration achievable. Volunteers of all ages came out to help plant seedlings.

All levels of government, businesses and the public, in Canada and abroad, rallied around the efforts to restore the park. The attention of local, national and international media substantially raised the visibility and credibility of the restoration efforts.

How we improved the park

Staff seized the opportunity to use the blow-down areas to set the stage for a stronger, more resilient forest for future generations.

The Seawall and forest trails were upgraded, providing better public access.

Major accomplishments

Accomplishments of the Stanley Park Restoration initiative included:

  • 15,000 new trees and shrubs planted in the blow-down areas
  • Road realignment and re-landscaping at Prospect Point, improving safety and accessibility
  • Structural upgrades and improvements to the Seawall
  • Slope stabilization between Prospect Point and Third Beach, improving safety
  • More than 10,000 trees and sections of fallen trees removed and distributed
  • Upgrades to Siwash Trail
  • Significant and ongoing progress on removing invasive plants
  • Upgrades to the historic outlook above Siwash Rock
  • A long-term City Forest Management Plan
  • New interpretive panels installed about the park's history, ecology, and geology
  • Archeological elements in the park identified and documented
  • Extensive mapping completed of various natural and manmade elements of the park
  • Stanley Park Environmental Art Project, a collaboration between park stewards, ecologists, and artists that used only natural materials

Stanley Park Forest Management Plan

Now that the restoration of Stanley Park is complete, the City is implementing the Stanley Park Forest Management Plan.

The plan guides current and future activities in the Park to ensure that they are consistent with the overall vision for the forest.

The vision for the forest is that the Stanley Park Forest:

  • Be a resilient coastal forest with a diversity of native and non-native tree species
  • Allow park visitors to experience nature in the city

Major elements of the forest management plan are related to public safety, forest protection, ecosystem enhancement, and management strategies.

The UBC Faculty of Forestry served as a consultant to the Forest Management Plan team.

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