Since time immemorial, many Indigenous peoples have lived on these shared territories including 10 local First Nations: Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Musqueam, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, Squamish, Tsawwassen and Tsleil-Waututh. Metro Vancouver respects the diverse and distinct histories, languages and cultures of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, which collectively enrich our lives and the region.
A Regional Parks Plan for the Lower Mainland Region is created to meet the outdoor recreation needs
of Lower Mainland residents (Population = 1 million)
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
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
Derby Reach Regional Park (Langley) is opened to the public.
Burnaby Lake Regional Park (Burnaby) is established.
Regional Parks begins offering nature education programs with the Burnaby Lake Nature House as the
Bell-Irving Hatchery – originally a sheep barn – starts operating at Kanaka Creek Regional Park.
First annual Celebration of Nature (later called Country Celebration) at Campbell Valley Regional
Campbell Valley Nature House is established.
Burrvilla, a Victorian style house (1905), is moved to Deas Island Regional Park from River Road.
The attic is now a summer nursery for hundreds of bats.
Inverholme Schoolhouse (1909) is moved from East Ladner to Deas Island Regional Park and restored.
Now reservable for special occasions.
Seven more regional parks are established:
Fort Camping opens at Brae Island Regional Park for Expo 86.
50 Year History of Regional Parks: Part 2 - Lions, Tigers & Bears
Stargazing programs have been held in Aldergrove Regional Park with local astronomers since the early
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 the largest regional park in the system at 3,700 hectares.
Work begins to restore 10,000 year-old Camosun Bog in Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
Five more regional parks and one regional park reserve are added to the system:
Lower Mainland Legacy Program adds 458 hectares to Belcarra Regional Park along Buntzen Ridge adjacent
to mountainside wilderness with spectacular ocean views.
Additional land acquired at Derby Reach Regional Park including pine bog forest.
Volunteer Campbell Valley Nature House Host program starts.
Scenic Tum-tumay-whueton Drive is added to Belcarra Regional Park and named for the First Nations
village that once overlooked the ocean.
Local concern over harvesting juvenile crabs sparks the creation of Beachkeepers, a still-active
volunteer program at Belcarra Regional Park.
Cammidge House (1914) originally located at 3rd Ave and Boundary Bay Rd is moved to Boundary Bay
Regional Park and restored. Today, it provides a scenic setting for meetings, parties and events.
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.
Regional greenways system established
Blaney Bog Regional Park Reserve is established (Maple Ridge)
Pacific Parklands Foundation, a registered
charity dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of Metro Vancouver's regional parks, is
50 Year History of Regional Parks: Part 3 - Protect & Connect.
Boundary Bay, an internationally significant site on the Pacific Flyway migration route, is designated
as an Important Bird Area.
Gordon’s Brook is created from an agricultural irrigation ditch as part of the habitat enhancement
of Pepin Brook in Aldergrove Regional Park.
Heritage Area at Derby Reach Regional Park officially opens.
Aldergrove Bowl at Aldergrove Regional Park is transformed from a gravel pit into habitat for wildlife
and a scenic area with grassy meadows, pocket forests and a marshy pond.
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)
Community groups and hundreds of volunteers start removing invasive Scotch broom at Iona Beach Regional
Park to restore the coastal sand ecosystem. This rare habitat with unique sand dune plants begins
As development in the region increases and greenspace decreases, there is an emphasis on conservation
Pitt River Regional Greenway (Pitt Meadows) established.
North Alouette Regional Greenway (Maple Ridge) established.
West Creek Wetlands is acquired (managed as part of Glen Valley Regional Park).
Tavistock Loop Trail is opened, completing Brae Island Regional Park’s trail system.
Davies Creek in Crippen Regional Park is restored, improving the quality of fish habitat and supporting
several salmon species.
Delta South Surrey Regional Greenway (Delta / Surrey) established.
New nesting beach at Burnaby Lake Regional Park supports largest known population of endangered Western
Accessible playground opens at Boundary Bay Regional Park.
Barnston Island Regional Park grows with the acquisition of Mann Point on the eastern end of the
island, conserving additional foreshore to support raptors, spotted sandpipers and other wildlife.
Seymour River Regional Greenway (North Vancouver) established.
Sumas Mountain Interregional Park (Abbotsford) established.
Paved perimeter trail opens in Tynehead Regional Park, increasing the park’s accessibility.
Large amounts of dog waste and concerns about health effects on people and wildlife prompt Regional
Parks to provide eco-friendly improvements in dog waste disposal.
Metro Vancouver Board adopts the Experience the Fraser (ETF) Concept Plan. ETF is a unique vision
to connect communities, parks, natural features, historic and cultural sites and experiences
along the Lower Fraser River. The vision is centered around the ‘Canyon to Coast Trail and Blueway’
connecting Hope to the Salish Sea.
The new fishway in Burnaby Lake Regional Park mimics a natural stream, making it easier for salmon
to get past Cariboo Dam.
As part of the plan for a new watershed stewardship centre, Bell-Irving Hatchery is demolished in
Kanaka Creek Regional Park.
The new concession at Boundary Bay Regional Park is open, featuring a green roof, bird-friendly glass
and ample natural light.
New stewardship technician positions work to protect and conserve ecosystem health such as this project
that uses beetles as a biological control against invasive purple loosestrife.
Bell-Irving Hatchery at Kanaka Creek Regional Park replaced.
Wetland created at Aldergrove Regional Park, providing habitat for Canada’s most endangered amphibian
– the Oregon spotted frog.
Inaugural Ecoblitz stewardship event
Universally accessible fishing ramp opens at Edgewater Bar in Derby Reach Regional Park.
Data loggers are installed to monitor water flow in Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area, providing
information to help protect a unique ecosystem.
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)
Metro Vancouver marks 50 years of its regional parks system with a year-long celebration to showcase
its 14,500-hectare network of parks and greenways.
Grouse Mountain Regional Park is established (North Vancouver).
Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre opens in Kanaka Creek Regional Park.
Widgeon Marsh Regional Park Reserve – A park management plan is underway to give people opportunities
to connect with nature while protecting the site's sensitive wetlands and ecosystems.
Metro Vancouver and its partners restore a salmon-bearing creek in Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
Endangered Western painted turtles get new nesting beach at Aldergrove Regional Park.
Metro Vancouver increases the Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund from $7.57 million to $11.57 million
to better enable the regional district to acquire land in the face of growing development pressures.
Parks outside of the Metro Vancouver Regional District are transferred to the Fraser Valley Regional
District and City of Abbotsford: Sumas Mountain Interregional Park, Matsqui Trail Regional Park
and the eastern portion of Glen Valley Regional Park. A portion of Aldergrove Regional Park’s
land base is also transferred but continues to be managed by Metro Vancouver.
Metro Vancouver acquires a new tool called a Tiger Dam to protect parks along the Fraser River from
damage caused by spring flooding.
An innovative engineering solution is used to replace Still Creek bridge in Burnaby Lake Regional
Park, reducing the impact on sensitive surrounding ecosystems.
Campbell Valley Nature House demolished
Campbell Valley Nature House exhibits and activities relocated to red barn
A new nature discovery area opens in Aldergrove Regional Park.
Country Celebration 40th Anniversary
Metro Vancouver Board endorses the Public Programming Strategy that presents recommendations on how
Regional Parks programming and interpretation will meet the needs of the region’s growing, diverse
Campbell Valley Regional Park expands by 3.95 hectares of old field habitat, maturing Douglas-fir forest
Sheep Paddocks Trail in Colony Farm Regional Park complete including habitat enhancement. (Original
seasonal trail closed in 2007 due to flooding and severe undercutting by the river.)
Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Metro Vancouver sign an historic co-operation agreement for Belcarra Regional
Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area expands by 53.8 hectares on the west and south flanks of
A team of experts embarks on the planning and design of Widgeon Marsh Regional Park (not yet open
to the public).
Staff rise to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping regional parks open
and continuing to provide opportunities to connect with nature.
During the pandemic, local residents turn to regional parks to meet their needs for physical and
mental health – as a safe place to connect with nature and others. 2020 sees record numbers with
16.5 million visits, an increase of 39% over 2019 (11.9 million).
Staff successfully pivot nature programs, taking measure to ensure the safety of participants and
staff. Some in-park programs are scaled down while others let households or core bubbles move
from station to station. New online programs are created including webinars and virtual field
Nature Discovery Loop opens in Aldergrove Regional Park.
Delta Nature Reserve is added to Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area. This land is the only publicly
accessible part of Burns Bog.
Kanaka Creek Regional Park expands with the purchase of 3.82 hectares of creek side and forest habitat.
Metro Vancouver announces funding for trail upgrades in Grouse Mountain Regional Park. Work begins
on trail improvements and will continue until completion in 2024.
56 hectares added to Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area.
Metro Vancouver Board approves 2021 budget which includes additional $4 million annual tax requisition
to further boost Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund.
Metro Vancouver Board approves the Regional Greenways 2050 plan, the region’s shared vision for a
network of recreational multi-use paths for cycling and walking that connects residents to large
parks, protected natural areas and communities to support regional livability.
Metro Vancouver acknowledges that the region’s residents live, work, and learn on the shared territories of many Indigenous peoples, including 10 local First Nations: Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Musqueam, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, Squamish, Tsawwassen, and Tsleil-Waututh.
Metro Vancouver respects the diverse and distinct histories, languages, and cultures of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, which collectively enrich our lives and the region.