Map shows new property acquisition for Kanaka Creek Regional Park.

Map shows new property acquisition for Kanaka Creek Regional Park.

Metro buys land to expand popular Maple Ridge park

Parcel added to Kanaka Creek Regional Park

A popular Maple Ridge park has become a little bigger.

Metro Vancouver has purchased land worth $2.25 million in Maple Ridge and added to Kanaka Creek Regional Park, in a bid to protect scenic and ecologically sensitive lands.

“We have recently seen a dramatic increase in the use of our regional parks, and this purchase of 3.4 hectares (8.55 acres) will not only protect nature along Kanaka Creek, but will also provide an opportunity to extend and connect trails in the east end of the park,” said John McEwen, chair of Metro’s Regional Parks Committee.

Over the last decade, 12 parcels totaling 42 ha (104 acres) have been added to the park, which stretches for 13 km along Kanaka Creek from the Fraser River to the base of Blue Mountain. The total cost of those land purchases was $12.45 million.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge’s Kanaka Creek park expands

“It’s been exciting to see Kanaka Creek Regional Park grow with each of these strategic acquisitions that add both to the park’s resilience and to its recreational value for park users,” added McEwen.

Located on Dewdney Trunk Road near Garibaldi Street, just west of Whonnock Lake, this latest addition boosts the size of the park to 454 ha (1,122 acres) and widens an especially narrow area. The land includes a portion of a creek tributary and features open field and forested areas.

READ ALSO: Visiting parks is good for your health, says UBC study

“Maple Ridge is surrounded by an abundance of natural, outdoor beauty and the pandemic has reminded us that these areas are incredibly important to residents in our community and across the region,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden. “Our local green spaces are busier than ever and Kanaka Creek is no exception, as visitors continue to be spellbound by its scenic Fraser River frontage, sandstone canyons, wooded trails and waterfalls. I sincerely appreciate the investment to preserve this park for future generations.”

Kanaka Creek Regional Park provides trails for walking, cycling and equestrian use. In 2020, about 673,000 people visited the park, a 43-per-cent increase from 2019.

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