The gate to Grant Narrows Park re-opened to the public July 17, 2020. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

The gate to Grant Narrows Park re-opened to the public July 17, 2020. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Park goers saddened by the state of Grant Narrows in Pitt Meadows

Meeting this week to determine the short-term plans for the site

As the wait continues for new managers of Grant Narrows Regional Park, those who have been making the trek to enjoy the nice weather are dismayed at what they have found.

Ron Paley was at the park last Wednesday, May 12 and discovered only one of the boat launches open, as the other is now blocked by a log boom.

In addition, he said, he saw no washrooms.

“So where do all the people relieve themselves on a busy weekend,” Paley asked.

Cam Redenbach complained that he found garbage cans overflowing on a recent trip to the park.

“Gates are open, but no services provided – no washrooms, no garbage collection , no nothing,” he said.

Katzie Development Limited Partnership had operated the park since 2011, but left the site May 8, 2020, citing liability issues with the docks in the park that they described at “unstable” and “in a state of disrepair.” Without an operating agreement with the province, they were unable to do any repairs.

The gates to the park were then locked and didn’t re-open to the public again until July 17, 2020.

Redenbach was so upset with what he saw he contacted the City of Pitt Meadows to see what was happening.

In excerpts from a letter he received from the City, Redenbach was told the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, does not currently have Lands Act tenure in place for the ongoing management and maintenance of the parking lot, boat launch, and associated infrastructure at the park.

READ MORE: Disrepair of boat launch poses risk, says user

“This means that services such as parking lot security, boat launch, washroom facilities, canoe rental and some general maintenance are not currently provided,” the city said in the letter to Redenbach, calling the situation “not preferred.”

But, Redenbach was told the ministry is working hard with other government partners to get an operator in place as soon as possible.

The ministry confirmed discussions with their partners are ongoing and there is another meeting scheduled this week to determine the short-term plans for the site. However, short-term plans will not include any significant changes to the site’s infrastructure.

Plans for the long-term management of the site are in the works, said Ministry spokesperson Tyler Hooper.

READ MORE: New management soon for Pitt Meadows park

“No clear direction has been determined and we are several months away from having any information to share on that,” Hooper added.

He said they are continuing to monitor and manage garbage at the site. They are not, however, actively monitoring visitor counts.

In April the ministry stated that while management of the site was up in the air, it was ensuring the gate is locked overnight and bi-weekly inspections of the park will be done by ministry staff who will be examining things like trail maintenance, park infrastructure and adherence with the Wildlife Act.

“It is sad how BC Parks has not maintained the parks like it used to be,” said Paley, who was a backcountry volunteer for many years.

“I’m sad to see what has happened,” he added.

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