Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Regional parks system expanding as number of visitors continues to climb

Whenever you turn on a water tap or flush a toilet, you are using the services of the Metro Vancouver Regional District which is a federation of municipal governments in our region. While water and sewer services represent around 70% of the expenditures of the regional district’s $831 million budget, it is likely the regional parks system that most people associate with the district.

Map of Metro Vancouver Regional District Parks, Greenways, and Conservation Areas. Select map to enlarge.

The goal of the Metro Vancouver parks division is to “protecting Metro Vancouver’s natural areas and connecting people with them.”

The parks system has a diversity of ecosystems as shown in the following table which includes a significant amount of wetlands.

Ecosystems in Metro Vancouver Regional Parks. Select chart to enlarge.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District invested around $46 million into its parks, greenways, and conservation lands last year, including expanding this system of protected areas. The regional district’s park division has a significant presence in the South of Fraser.

Last year, the regional district acquired 11.04 hectares of land at Campbell Valley Regional Park, Glen Valley Regional Park, Kanaka Creek Regional Park, and the Widgeon Marsh Regional Park Reserve.

The number of people visiting Metro Vancouver regional parks has been growing, with May through August being the busiest time of year for parks visits. The following table shows the number of people that visited regional parks last year.

Park Name 2018 Visit
Pacific Spirit Regional Park 2,619,000
Boundary Bay Regional Park* 920,000
Capilano River Regional Park 834,000
Derby Reach Regional Park* 810,000
Belcarra Regional Park 738,000
Campbell Valley Regional Park* 614,000
Grouse Mountain Regional Park 560,000
Tynehead Regional Park* 502,000
Kanaka Creek Regional Park 446,000
Aldergrove Regional Park* 407,000
Burnaby Lake Regional Park 399,000
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park 344,000
Deas Island Regional Park* 313,000
Iona Beach Regional Park 303,000
Crippen Regional Park 290,000
Brae Island Regional Park 284,000
Matsqui Trail Regional Park 277,000
Colony Farm Regional Park 263,000
Brunette-Fraser Regional Greenway 207,000
Pitt River Regional Greenway 162,000
Minnekhada Regional Park 143,000
Surrey Bend Regional Park* 104,000
Glen Valley Regional Park* 87,000
Delta-South Surrey Regional Greenway* 75,000
Seymour River Regional Greenway 27,000
Barnston Island Regional Park* 11,000

*South of Fraser

As the goal of Metro Vancouver is to connect people with our natural areas, over 1,050 programs such as field trips and workshops where offered last year with over 60,000 people participating in them.

For more information about Metro Vancouver’s park system, please have a look at their most recent parks annual report in the May 15th Regional Parks Committee agenda.

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