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Metro Vancouver has expanded the popular North Alouette Regional Greenway with the addition of 7.69 hectares (19 acres) of land on its east side. The North Alouette Regional Greenway, located in the northwest corner of the City of Maple Ridge bordering on the City of Pitt Meadows, includes a shared dike trail used for walking, cycling and horseback riding. The greenway protects a section of the North Alouette River floodplain, including a rare lowland Sitka Spruce ecosystem. The new land parcel, acquired at a cost of $715,000 through the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund, runs north from 136th Avenue and includes Cattell Brook, which provides salmon rearing habitat and is a destination for canoeists and kayakers. The greenway, together with the nearby Codd Wetlands Ecological Conservancy and Blaney Bog Regional Park Reserve, forms an assemblage of natural wetland habitats supporting several endangered species, such as Keen’s long-eared bat, the southern red-backed vole, and the Pacific water shrew. “We are pleased and excited to have secured such an ecologically rich piece of land which complements the floodplain areas already protected by the greenway,” said John McEwen, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Committee. “This property contains important fish rearing and wildlife habitat and is an key component of the Pacific Flyway.” This land purchase advances Metro Vancouver Regional Parks’ mandate to protect the region’s important natural areas while providing opportunities for people to connect with, enjoy, and learn about the natural environment. Metro Vancouver's Regional Parks system covers 13,557 hectares, and includes 22 regional parks, three regional park reserves, two ecological conservancy areas, and five regional greenways. “The corridor along the North Alouette River provides park visitors many wonderful opportunities to enjoy scenic vistas of the river, mountains and agricultural areas, and it’s a great place to view wildlife,” said Mike Morden, Mayor of the City of Maple Ridge and a Metro Vancouver Director. “The City looks forward to continuing to work with Metro Vancouver to manage this important local and regional amenity.” In 2018, Metro Vancouver doubled its annual contribution to the Regional Park Land Acquisition Fund – to a total of $7.57 million each year – so that it may more readily respond to land acquisition opportunities and protect more of the region’s ecologically sensitive areas for people to enjoy, even as land prices and development pressures rise.