Metro Vancouver has bought another land parcel to expand the Kanaka Creek Regional Park in Maple Ridge.
Metro has added 20 hectares i.e. 50 acres of forested land worth $2.68-million, to the north side of the park, with the intention to protect a large block of scenic and ecologically sensitive land with a healthy and mature ecosystem that has been relatively undisturbed for nearly a century.
The popular Maple Ridge park has been benefiting from Metro’s purchases over the past decade, with Metro adding 13 parcels totalling 62 hectares to the park which stretches for 13 kilometres along Kanaka Creek from the base of Blue Mountain to the Fraser River — features river frontage, sandstone canyons, wooded trails, and picturesque waterfalls.
John McEwen, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Committee noted the importance of these forested areas.
“These large forested areas are increasingly important refuges for people and wildlife as the impacts of a changing climate grow more evident in our region. This property is unique because it helps maintain the water quality of McFadden and Kanaka creeks, and it preserves the scenic backdrop for an existing popular trail,” he said.
The park is located between 116th Avenue and Dewdney Trunk Road on the east side of 264th Street, while the new acquisition is adjacent to the South Martin Trail, which is used by hikers and equestrians and links the park to other trails and park land in northeast Maple Ridge.
The new property will extend the park 600 metres northward, helping to connect the riparian corridors of Kanaka and McFadden creeks at one of the narrowest sections of Kanaka Creek Regional Park.
City of Maple Ridge mayor, Mike Morden also expressed how rare such a piece of forest was and how important it would prove to be for the community.
“It is so rare to find an intact piece of forest of this size close to a rapidly developing area. Add in the existing trail that connects park land to the north and south and it is a really significant acquisition for our community and the region. This is the largest addition to Kanaka Creek Regional Park in many years and truly something to celebrate,” he said.
Kanaka Creek Regional Park provides trails for walking, cycling, and equestrian use. In 2021, over 673,000 people visited the park, a 43-per-cent increase over the past two years.
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