Travel Through Time

Celebrating 50 Years of Metro Vancouver Regional Parks
1967 to 2017


A Regional Parks Plan for the Lower Mainland Region is created to meet the outdoor recreation needs of Lower Mainland residents (Population = 1 million)

1960s - 1970s

50 Year History of Regional Parks - Part 1: Land for Leisure


The Vancouver-Fraser Park District is formed to carry out the plan. Its priority: acquire land "while it is available and before prices rise too much"


The first regional parks open to the public

Aldergrove Regional Park (Abbotsford / Langley)
Belcarra Regional Park (Belcarra / Anmore / Port Moody)
Boundary Bay Regional Park (Delta)
Capilano River Regional Park (North Vancouver / West Vancouver)
Campbell Valley Regional Park (Langley)
Kanaka Creek Regional Park (Maple Ridge)


The fish hatchery is built at Capilano River Regional Park


Regional Parks become part of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. "Parks are the region’s breathing spaces."


Derby Reach Regional Park (Langley) is opened to the public.


Burnaby Lake Regional Park (Burnaby) is established. Regional Parks begins offering nature education programs


Seven more regional parks are opened:

Deas Island Regional Park (Delta)
Minnekhada Regional Park (Coquitlam)
Crippen Regional Park (Bowen Island)
Matsqui Trail Regional Park (Abbotsford)
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park (North Vancouver)
Tynehead Regional Park (Surrey)
Pacific Spirit Regional Park (Vancouver)

1980s - 1990s

50 Year History of Regional Parks: Part 2 - Lions, Tigers & Bears


Development pressure raises public interest in conserving large, undyked Fraser River floodplains, leading to the acquisition of land in 1995 for a future park.


Iona Beach Regional Park is established (Richmond)


Lynn Headwaters Regional park becomes largest regional park in the system at 3,700 hectares.


Five more regional parks and one regional park reserve added to the system:

Widgeon Marsh Regional Park Reserve (Port Coquitlam)
Glen Valley Regional Park (Langley / Abbotsford)
Barnston Island Regional Park (Electoral Area A)
Brae Island Regional Park (Langley)

Fraser Islands Regional Park Reserve (Richmond/Burnaby)

Colony Farm Regional Park (Coquitlam / Port Coquitlam)


Minnekhada Regional Park hosts a study to minimize impacts on its resident bats, especially a colony of Townsend’s big-eared-bats, a species-at-risk.


Blaney Bog Regional Park Reserve is established (Maple Ridge)


50 Year History of Regional Parks: Part 3 - Protect & Connect


Thwaytes Landing Regional Park (North Vancouver) is established with a goal of maintaining the biodiversity of BC’s southernmost fjord. & Brunette-Fraser Regional Greenway (Burnaby / New Westminster) is opened to the public.


Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area (Delta) & Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area (Maple Ridge)


As development in the region increases and greenspace decreases, there is an emphasis on conservation and sustainability.


Pitt River Regional Greenway (Pitt Meadows) & North Alouette Regional Greenway (Maple Ridge)


Delta South Surrey Regional Greenway (Delta / Surrey)


Seymour River Regional Greenway (North Vancouver) & Sumas Mountain Interregional Park (Abbotsford)


Enhancement project at Campbell Valley Regional Park supports wetland and pollinator meadow habitat.


Regional Parks Plan updated

Goal 1: Protect important natural areas to contribute to the liveability of the region and enhance connections with other parks or natural areas.

Goal 2: Within the context of natural area protection, provide opportunities for people to connect with, enjoy, be active and learn about the environment.


Surrey Bend Regional Park is established (Surrey)


With a population of 2.5 million people and growing, what comes next?