On busy weekends, while shoppers flock to Metrotown in Burnaby, I usually set my sights a little further down the road to Central Park, a 90-hectare oasis nestled on the Vancouver – Burnaby border. This lush, coastal urban rainforest and park is home to thousands of native trees and shrubs including towering douglas fir, western hemlock, cedar, poplar and maple. Numerous trails wind their way through the forest past ponds, inviting park visitors to go green, and enjoy time outdoors in a marvellous wooded oasis.
Drawn by the diverse habitat, ponds and berry-producing shrubs, a wide variety of birds live in the park. However, this year naturalists were delighted to see an incredible parliament of owls invade the grounds! As part of the Canada 150 birthday celebration, the City of Burnaby found a creative natural way to celebrate art, horticulture and the environment in the form of eco-sculptures. Proudly perched at the north end of the park, near Swangard Stadium, stand thirteen owl eco-sculptures. Each owl is a different species, representing Canada’s provinces and territories. Drawn to these living canvases, I spent considerable time admiring the attention to detail. Whimsical, mysterious and delightful!
Of course, Central Park is more than a parliament of owls! Well-known for its excellent sport and recreation facilities, the park features tennis courts, horseshoe pitches, a fitness circuit, Pitch and Putt golf and more. Little ones will delight spending time at the award-winning Variety Park Playground. Devised to be inclusive, the playground design incorporates different levels of challenge and natural elements, encouraging kids to play and take risks. Adults looking for a challenge can lace up their runners and tackle the 5km Terry Fox Running route. Beautiful in all seasons and weather, a brisk walk, run or cycle in Central Park is a must do!
Interested in visiting the owls? Visit soon, as the owls are scheduled to take flight in early October.
Close to Metrotown, Central Park is located on the Vancouver – Burnaby border, just off Boundary Road and Kingsway, easily accessible by Sky Train. Grab your walking shoes and enjoy a brisk stroll on one of the many trails.