Close to 10 acres have been added to Kanaka Creek Regional Park.
An announcement came down Thursday, explaining that two different properties were purchased for $1.725 million and added to the Metro Vancovuer regional park.
Metro Vancouver confirmed the protection of more natural areas in the region with the purchase of two separate parcels totalling 3.82 hectares (9.4 acres) of creek side and forest habitat in Maple Ridge, said John McEwen, chair of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks committee.
The new additions to the park are located on the north arm of Kanaka Creek just south of Dewdney Trunk Road and near the Bell Irving Fish Hatchery.
Both properties host ecologically diverse forests and riverbanks, McEwen said.
“Over the past few years, Metro Vancouver has been acquiring lands to widen Kanaka Creek Regional Park at its narrowest points to create a more ecologically resilient park. These new park lands protect the areas along the two main stems of Kanaka Creek,” he explained.
Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden applauded the news.
“It’s great to see these ongoing additions to Kanaka Creek Regional Park that fill in gaps and protect more of the creek corridor’s diverse and scenic landscape,” he said.
“Preserving additional natural lands next to developing urban areas is a win for all as it helps us maintain the livability of the region in the face of rapid growth and climate change.”
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The latest purchases boost the size of Kanaka Creek Regional Park to more than 450 hectares (1112 acres).
The serpentine park lets visitors experience diverse landscapes including Fraser River frontage, dense forests, sandstone canyons, and waterfalls. It features an extensive multi-use trail network, the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre and the Bell-Irving Fish Hatchery.
In 2019, nearly 470,000 people visited the park.
“Metro Vancouver is keeping most regional parks open during the COVID-19 public health emergency, said Metro Vancouver chair. He emphasized the value they offer for people connecting with nature, reducing stress, and maintaining physical and mental well-being.
“Park visitors are encouraged to visit parks in their own neighbourhood, keep a physical distance of at least two metres from others, and use transit, walk or ride their bikes so as not to impede traffic in the local area.”
In the past 50 years, the regional parks system has grown from 3,835 hectares to more 13,600 hectares of parkland, with 23 regional parks, five greenways, two ecological conservancy areas and two regional park reserves in communities from Bowen Island to Maple Ridge.
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