By bringing together existing points of interest and features along the river, ETF will add strength and dynamism to local tourism and economic development initiatives, acting as a catalyst. The hope is for all to be inspired to become more active stewards on behalf of the river, and for the Lower Fraser River to become one of the world’s great river destinations.
The ETF Concept Plan lays out a vision for Experience the Fraser, centered around the ‘Canyon to Coast Trail and Blueway’. The vision is to create a number of experiential journeys along the Lower Fraser River where stories will be revealed about the river’s ecology, people, history, communities and industry. Existing recreational and cultural attractions and points of interest will be linked together along the river, and a series of community nodes and portals will serve as destinations and points of entry to the trail.
In 2009 the Province of BC provided the Fraser Valley Regional District and Metro Vancouver with $2.5 million dollars to develop a comprehensive Concept Plan by Fall 2011, and to implement two demonstration projects.
The Concept Plan also offers a Foundational Program consisting of 60 actions, that once completed, will define an Experience the Fraser identity and brand. The ETF team worked with Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Regional District, the Province, First Nations, federal agencies, municipalities, non-government organizations, interest groups and other motivated citizens to develop the ETF Concept Plan.
The ETF Implementation Plan identifies planned actions that will be undertaken by Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Regional District, the Province and the 16 municipalities along the Fraser River over the next few years. It also includes a few illustrative actions identified by other agencies and organizations. The structure of the Implementation Plan follows the structure of the Concept Plan, listing actions by Goal and Foundational Program project. The identified actions are, of course, subject to budget processes and other approvals.
The Implementation Plan is intended to both be a record of planned government actions as well as a call to action for others to participate and add their projects and plans to Experience the Fraser. The Implementation Plan will be a living document that will become even more robust as others add their parts of the vision.