Regional Parks History Timeline (1966 to present)

1966

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

1967

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"

1969

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)

1971

The fish hatchery is built at Capilano River Regional Park.

1972

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

1978

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

1979

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

1981-1989

Seven more regional parks are established:

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

1990s

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

1990

Iona Beach Regional Park is established (Richmond).

1991

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

1992-1996

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

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

1999

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.

2000

Blaney Bog Regional Park Reserve is established (Maple Ridge)

2000s

50 Year History of Regional Parks: Part 3 - Protect & Connect. Pacific Parklands Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of Metro Vancouver's regional parks, is established.

2002

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.

2004

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

2005

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

2007

Pitt River Regional Greenway (Pitt Meadows) established.

North Alouette Regional Greenway (Maple Ridge) established.

2010

Delta South Surrey Regional Greenway (Delta / Surrey) established.

2011

Seymour River Regional Greenway (North Vancouver) established.

Sumas Mountain Interregional Park (Abbotsford) established.

Tynehead Perimeter Trail opens in Tynehead Regional Park.

2012

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.

2013

Wetland at Aldergrove Regional Park restored.

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.

2014

Scotch broom is removed at Iona Beach Regional Park as part of a multi-year effort to restore the rare and threatened coastal sand dune ecosystem.

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.

2015

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

2016

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)

2017

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.

2018

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.

A beach for endangered Western painted turtles is constructed at Aldergrove Regional Park.

Metro Vancouver and partners restore a salmon-bearing creek in Pacific Spirit Regional Park.

2019

A new nature discovery area opens in Aldergrove Regional Park.