Metro Vancouver has big plans to preserve a forested waterfront property at Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island.
The regional district announced Wednesday that it is planning to create a new regional park that will include managed camping areas.
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“I am really pleased, this land is really special from an ecological perspective, it has a lot of species that are unique to the region,” said David Hocking, a Metro Vancouver director and a Bowen Island municipal councilor.
“This is really great news that it is being protected forever.”
The new park has plans to include supervised overnight camping areas, with more than 50 walk-in/bike-in tent sites, 35 accessible drive-in tent sites as well as 10 tent cabins.
“We really like the fact that it will be supervised camping and low-impact camping,” Hocking said.
“The problem with the area now is people are tempted to camp there (without supervision) and there is a high potential for forest fires and damages (to the area).”
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Metro Vancouver has a conditional agreement for around $40 million to purchase 24 parcels of land, totaling 97 hectares, that will make up the new park, the district said.
“I am beyond thrilled to see the potential for a new regional park that will protect public access to spectacular coastal forest and beach landscapes for generations to come,” said John McEwen, chair of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Committee.
“With Metro Vancouver poised to welcome one million more residents in the next 30 years, and a significant increase in regional park visitation over the last two years, Cape Roger Curtis is a unique opportunity to help ensure all residents have access to regional parks.”
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Metro Vancouver said there is also an emphasis on making the regional park more accessible for those without vehicles.
Hocking said although the news is fresh, he has reached out to some Bowen Island residents on their thoughts about the new park.
“Everybody is saying ‘congratulations’, ‘this is terrific’,” said Hocking.
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Metro Vancouver has started the park planning process, which includes applying to Bowen Island Municipality for rezoning of the properties from rural residential to park, as well as an amendment to the Official Community Plan.
The regional district also says it is working closely with the Skwxwú7mesh úxwumixw/Squamish Nation about development and stewardship for the new park.
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