A map of the Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy area. (Metro Vancouver/Special to The News)

A map of the Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy area. (Metro Vancouver/Special to The News)

Metro expands park land in Pitt Meadows by 73 hectares

Addition brings the city closer to its goal to build ‘a large and resilient park complex’

Metro Vancouver’s efforts to expand park land has moved another step forward with a 73-hectare acquisition in the City of Pitt Meadows.

Located on the east side of the Pitt River Valley in the City of Pitt Meadows, Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area has more than doubled in size in the past three years, and is now more than 233 hectares. The conservancy area protects a wide variety of plants, birds, fish, mammals and amphibians, and is a key stopover on the Pacific Flyway, as more than 160 bird species have been observed in the area, said Metro.

“I could not be more excited about these additions to the regional park system,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall.

“Codd Wetland is a gem and its expansion is a big step forward in creating a diverse and interconnected network of parks and greenways throughout Metro Vancouver.”

The interconnected network of parks and greenways that Dingwall points to, is part of Metro’s long-term goal for the region. It is hoping to create a large and resilient park complex in this region, and with the new addition of land, Metro is a step closer to that goal.

READ MORE: Metro announces 56 hectares of new park land in Pitt Meadows

John McEwen, chair of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks committee remarked that previously the Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area was limited to the wetland itself, however with the purchase of the new land parcels, that has changed. The newly acquired lands include old farm fields, forested uplands, and submerged wetlands, and would offer Metro opportunities to develop future trails, viewpoints and other park amenities.

“These new areas provide potential locations for public access to a future regional park, while contributing to connectivity between existing protected sites in this amazing corner of our region,” said McEwen.

Of the 73 hectares, Metro invested $1.7 million for the 14-hectare parcel, east of the Neaves Road at the junction of the North Alouette River and Blaney Creek, and another $11.5 million to purchase a 59-hectare parcel to the east, owned by one family for nearly 80 years. This parcel includes farm fields, a treed ridge and a 20-hectare wildlife pond managed by Ducks Unlimited.

Both properties were acquired through the Regional Park Land Acquisition Fund.

With the pandemic underway, Metro Vancouver’s regional parks experienced an unprecedented 38 per cent jump in park visits, encouraging Metro to continue pursuing parkland acquisitions. Not only would this ensure that there would be more open spaces for people to gather and enjoy in, in the future, but would also be a major step towards conservation efforts.

“Protecting ecologically sensitive lands in our region is of critical importance,” said McEwen.

ALSO READ: Pitt Meadows Mayor raises ‘separate RCMP detachment issue’ at UBCM


Is there more to the story? Email: priyanka.ketkar@mapleridgenews.com

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The 14-hectare parcel looking east over North Alouette River. (Metro Vancouver/Special to The News)

The 14-hectare parcel looking east over North Alouette River. (Metro Vancouver/Special to The News)