2017 promises to be an epic year for parks and parties! Our beloved Canada is turning 150, and in honour of this epic birthday, Parks Canada is offering their Discovery Pass granting visitors free admission to our world renowned National Park network. Closer to home, there is another special anniversary of note. Metro Vancouver Regional Parks is celebrating 50 years of “hikes, dog walks and morning runs among centuries-old trees.”
From Bowen Island to Campbell Valley Regional Park and beyond, 14,500 hectares of forests, beaches, rivers and greenways are waiting for you! Not quite sure where to start? Check out the Passport Program. Designed as a guide for exploration, your passport opens the door to 23 regional parks, five regional greenways, three regional park reserves and two ecological conservancy areas.
For those interested in learning more about local wildlife and our diverse natural landscapes and habitats, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks and their partners have created an excellent series of programs and special events. Catch a Meteor Shower in Aldergrove Regional Park, paddle the Bedford Channel or join a Forest Fairy Gathering at Burnaby Lake, there are countless opportunities to connect with nature.
Granted the parks are spectacular, and the programs are creative, fun and educational, but beyond the beauty of the parkland, what always intrigues and inspires me are the stewards of these special places. Each year over 26,000 volunteer hours are committed to our park system. Helping hands remove invasive plants, conduct bird surveys, monitor wildlife and plant native trees and shrubs. These park partners and stewards are champions, and that is something to celebrate!
Visit the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks website for a detailed list of parks near you. Grab your paddle, hiking boots or bike, pick up a passport and plan your adventure – the trails are waiting for you!