Monday, July 17, 2023

Development of New Cape Roger Curtis Regional Park on Bowen Island

Recently, the Metro Vancouver Regional District completed purchasing 97 hectares of land at Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island for a new regional park. The new park will have day-use activities like hiking and overnight camping.

Location of proposed Cape Roger Curtis Regional Park on Bowen Island. Select the map to enlarge.

These lands contain sensitive ecosystems, such as coastal bluffs, rocky headlands, and dry Douglas fir forests.

Site plan for proposed Cape Roger Curtis Regional Park on Bowen Island. Select the map to enlarge.

As part of the park’s creation, the Regional District is going through a rezoning process with Bowen Island Municipality, as the current permitted use is for larger lot housing.

As part of the rezoning process for the park, Bowen Island Municipality is asking for:

  • A bus shuttle service
  • A passenger ferry feasibility study
  • The Regional District to take over all municipality roads and trails within the park
  • The Regional District to provide $5.6 million to help build the Cross Island Multi-Use Path

Bowen Island is accessible by ferry services, and there is limited vehicle capacity to get to and around the island, so a big focus on the development of this park will be to provide active transportation (cycling) and public transit access options between the new park and Snug Cove (ferry terminal.)

The Regional District’s Visitor Use Management Plan includes the following key objectives.

  • Park access is sustainable. Car access to the park is limited, to reduce impacts to the community, local roads, and the ferry system.
  • Park visitors respect neighbouring properties, natural areas, and local amenities.
  • The park’s sensitive natural areas are protected and managed to avoid negative impacts from park visitors. Park visitors respect regional park bylaws and regulations to protect park ecology.
  • Park visitors are prohibited from accessing habitats or ecosystems highly vulnerable to human impact.

I’m excited about this new regional park which will help connect people with nature and help preserve a significant amount of sensitive and unique ecosystem in Metro Vancouver.

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