Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall at Monday’s park land acquisition announcement. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall at Monday’s park land acquisition announcement. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Metro announces 56 hectares of new park land in Pitt Meadows

Plans to ‘create a vast and stunning park complex’

Metro Vancouver, citing unprecedented growth in park use during 2020, has added 56 hectares to the Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area in Pitt Meadows.

Located east of Pitt River in the Pitt Polder region, the land will protect ecologically diverse wildlife habitat and provide opportunities to develop future trails and viewpoints, said a press release from Pitt Meadows city hall Monday morning.

“Pitt Meadows is known as the Natural Place for a reason,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall. “Parks are the second-largest land use in Pitt Meadows at 27 per cent. The addition of these park lands is an important natural asset and another positive step that reaffirms our commitment to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to protect our natural areas to ensure current and future generations can continue to connect with nature in our community.”

Metro spent $7.4 million on the new land acquisition, and held a press conference Monday morning near the north end of 224th Street on the Bordertown Bridge, which is near the Bordertown movie set. The newly acquired property was behind the speakers at the podium.

Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors, said record visitation to Metro’s regional parks in 2020 underscored the need for such acquisitions.

Over the past several years, regional parks attracted 11-12 million visits annually with an average increase of four per cent per year, which is more than twice the rate of local population growth. Visitation records in 2020 are already well over 14 million visits recorded already this year.

“The experience these past months has made it clear – people want to spend time outdoors,” said Dhaliwal.

John McEwen, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Committee, said the area in northeastern Pitt Meadows has the potential to one day become part of “a Stanley Park for the eastern region.”

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge’s North Alouette Regional Greenway expands

“Our vision for the Greater Codd area is to create a vast and stunning park complex in the rapidly-growing northeastern part of the region by expanding and connecting three separate existing protected areas: Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area, Blaney Bog Regional Park Reserve and the North Alouette Regional Greenway,” added McEwen. “Thanks to our collaborations with the cities of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, we are making progress on bringing together these three areas that have been fragmented by historical land use changes.”

The existing Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area was acquired in 2004 and consists of 104.5 hectares that includes the Blaney Creek floodplain, the wetlands and the tributary streams east of Codd Island.

READ ALSO: Codd Wetlands credited with helping reduce carbon footprint

It is one of the last remaining floodplain wetlands within the Alouette River watershed that is not diked and is home to more than 200 species of wildlife including birds, mammals and amphibians. In recognition of its significant ecological value, the Codd Wetlands are currently managed as an Ecological Conservation Area and are not open to the public.

That will change, as Metro plans how to balance conservation with public access, in a planning process that could take two year, said McEwen.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Maple RidgeMetro VancouverparksPitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (File photo)
Surrey mayor taking it on the chin during budget public hearing

So far, he’s cut five callers off during Monday’s virtual meeting

The entrance at Fleetwood Villa in Surrey. (Photo: dignified.ca)
Fleetwood Villa resident tests positive for COVID-19, leading to ‘outbreak’ at facility

Fraser Health says it’s ‘critically important’ for people in the region to use COVID-19 assessment tool

A Surrey protest now in week 12 against a local resident has frayed the nerves of neighbours fed-up with the group’s presence. (Submitted photo)
Surrey neighbourhood fed-up with strange protest

Surrey Mounties say they’re monitoring the situation

Bhupinder Hundal. (submitted photo)
Surrey’s Bhupinder Hundal hired as news director of B.C. broadcaster

Grad of Princess Margaret Secondary now managing Global station

Surrey-White Rock MLA-elect Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA-elect Stephanie Cadieux have each been given a portfolio as an Opposition critic. (Contributed photos)
BC Liberals give Halford, Cadieux critic responsibilities

Surrey South and Surrey-White Rock MLAs to help keep eye on majority NDP government

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
32 family members respond to Abbotsford care home’s plea for staffing help during COVID-19 outbreak

Menno Home asks for relief workers for food service, laundry and housekeeping

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
Judge hears Langley development case that could end in mayor, councillors booted out of council

The conflict of interest case was launched by local voters a year ago

Most Read