Bowen Island Regional Park Proposal Announced By Metro Vancouver


A new regional park is coming to Bowen Island and it looks like there will be many happy campers.

Metro Vancouver announced a new proposal last week that would see the area around Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island be converted into a Regional park, a designation that recognizes and protects an area’s contributions to things like the ecosystem, biodiversity, and environmental health.

Metro Vancouver has secured a conditional agreement to purchase 97 hectares — 24 parcels — of forested and waterfront land on the southwest corner of Bowen Island for approximately $40M. The agreement extends to Spring 2023, until which Metro Vancouver can continue to find partners to help fund and develop the park.

The Skwxwú7mesh úxwumixw/Squamish Nation are also expected to be involved in the process, as the land is within Skwxwú7mesh úxwumixw/Squamish Nation territory. In a statement, a spokesperson and Councilor for the Nation reiterated the need to preserve the area.

“This regional park will make it easier for current and future generations to enjoy nature and help to preserve the coastal ecosystem, which Squamish Nation has stewarded since time immemorial. We look forward to working in partnership with Metro Vancouver and Bowen Island Municipality to see how we can incorporate our language and culture in the park planning process.”

Metro Vancouver has started the park planning process, but preliminary details about the concept for the park will likely be exciting to campers. The park is expected to include a supervised overnight camping area, 50 walk-in/bike-in tent sites, 35 accessible drive-in tent sites, and 10 tent cabins. Furthermore, the park will also include multiple day-use picnic areas, access to the beach, and various hiking trails. The only thing that will not be permitted is “recreational vehicle and trailer camping.”

The proposal comes as a continuation of Metro Vancouver’s long-running regional parks system. According to Metro Vancouver, the collection has grown significantly in the past 50 years, increasing from 3,835 hectares to over 13,800 hectares, consisting of regional parks, greenways, and ecological conservancy areas.

In the statement announcing the proposal, Gary Ander, Mayor of Bowen Island Municipality, reiterated the importance of the regional park.

“This new regional park initiative is incredible news, not just for Bowen Island, but for the entire region. Cape Roger Curtis holds some of the most unique ecological characteristics in the region — and this park enhances local efforts by the Bowen Island Conservancy and many islanders to protect the area. It will provide excellent recreational and educational opportunities for island and regional residents alike for years to come.”

Howard is a Staff Writer at STOREYS. He is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has also written about media for One Zero and international politics for WhoWhatWhy.

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