Vancouver’s natural beauty is worth protecting. Our children not only need places to play, but also places to enjoy and explore nature. We all need places of tranquil refuge from our busy lives. The animals and birds that help make our city lives enjoyable need places to nest and raise their young.
People and nature in balance is my vision for our parks and recreation system.
City of Vancouver
October 13, 2016
Stormy fall and winter weather can cause clogged catch
basins (also called storm drains) to flood. Help prevent flooding in your
neighbourhood by raking and clearing leaves from the catch basin in front of
your home and putting the leaves into your Green Bin.
All leaves that are cleared from catch basins, sidewalks,
boulevards and residents property should be added to their Green Bin until it
is full. Leaves that do not fit in their Green Bin, should be stored in a dry
area and added to the Green Bin again once it is emptied. Green Bins will
continue to be collected weekly according to residents’ regular collection
Extra Leaf Collection
Extra leaves that do not fit in residents Green Bins should
be placed in biodegradable paper yard waste bags and stored in a dry area until
our extra leaf collection program starts.Bagged leaves will be collected city-wide by crews on the following
to 20 (updated date)
·December 10 to
to 15, 2017 (Christmas trees will also be collected)
Leaves may be collected on either Saturday or Sunday (not
both days). To avoid a missed collection, residents are asked to set their
leaves out for collection before
7:00 am on the scheduled Saturday and to download the
VanCollect app on their smartphone for collection reminders.
Street Leaf Cleaning
City crews will begin to clear streets of leaves on November
14 with added focus on streets with higher volumes of leaves. If temporary
"no parking" signs are posted on a side of the street, residents are
required to move vehicles to another parking spot before 7:00 a.m. on the date
indicated. Vehicles that are not moved may be ticketed or towed. At times,
crews may be delayed in some neighbourhoods with large amounts of leaves but
will return as soon as possible to complete the work. Moving your vehicle
enables crews to do a better job of clearing streets of leaves.
Leaves to Compost
Collected leaves are turned in to nutrient-rich compost at
the Vancouver Landfill. This compost can be purchased by residential gardeners,
commercial landscapers and municipal park boards. Leaves and other yard
trimmings can also be dropped off for composting at the Vancouver South
Transfer Station located at 377 West Kent Ave North and at the Vancouver
Landfill located at 5400 72nd Street in Delta.
I don't as a rule write about school and education issues on this blog, but the on going crisis at the Vancouver School Board (my employer) can effect other areas of the city as well. The Park Board shares facilities and fields with the VSB, and instability in one organization can have repercussion at the other. Here is an Op/Ed written by my Green caucus mate VSB Trustee Janet Fraser, on what is happening there:
What is life like as a Vancouver School Board (VSB) trustee? I
usually enjoy working to make education better for our students, but
both my first week as a trustee and this most recent week have been very
In November 2014, nine VSB trustees were elected, four Vision and
four NPA, with myself as the lone Green. With this 4-4-1 board, if
Vision and NPA disagree, my vote will be the decider. This happened with
my very first vote, voting for the board chair. Patti Bacchus had been
chairwoman for six years under two Vision majority boards, but I voted
for the NPA’s nominee, Christopher Richardson, because Vision no longer
had a majority and I wanted to reflect voters’ desire for change. The
social media backlash was immediate, and it was clear that it would be
difficult to set aside partisan differences to work collaboratively as a
Moving forward to this week, in the midst of considering school
closures the entire VSB senior management team is on medical leave. I
value and respect every member of our senior management team and hope
that their leaves resolve well. I am disappointed in myself as I am the
vice-chair, and despite holding this leadership position our district
has come to this outcome.
At our last board meeting, our Acting Superintendent recommended that
the school closure process be suspended. Despite the board’s unanimous
approval to move forward with closure consultations for 11 schools, I
voted to suspend the process as without our senior management team the
VSB does not have the capability to carry out these meetings in any
meaningful way. I realize this decision will impact next year’s budget
as our available funding is spread ever-more thinly across the district,
and that it may also impact our ability to provide temporary
accommodation to move forward our seismic program as soon as possible.
However, the well-being of our staff cannot be put at risk by
unrealistic expectations. I disagree with our Vision chairman Mike
Lombardi’s position that the minister’s removal of the 95-per-cent
capacity utilization requirement will fundamentally change our Long
Range Facility Plan and school closure process. The minister’s
announcement still requires a solid case for funding seismic upgrades
and that there be the right number of schools for the actual number of
students, which to me are essentially the same parameters.
In the near future, a special advisor will submit his report to the
minister and WorkSafeBC will investigate allegations in a letter from
the B.C. School Superintendents Association that the VSB work
environment creates a toxicity that fosters fear and a lack of a sense
of safety for those lead educators as the expectations requested of them
I usually downplay party political affiliations when I write about
being a trustee, but I have learned they are always present and I
acknowledge that reality here. I work hard to make evidence-based
decisions that focus on the best interests of our students, but I cannot
get away from the fact that VSB decisions play out in a partisan
political arena, at both the municipal and provincial levels. I do not
align with any other political party, I do not vote for or against any
party, rather I vote for our students and their public education. I am
finding it more and more difficult to work collaboratively with my
fellow trustees when I know that our work will always be viewed through a
political rather than an educational lens.
Trustees have the responsibility to support the success of every
student in our district, and right now we must focus on these nearly
50,000 students to ensure their education is not affected by the
dysfunction at the board level.
Janet Fraser is a Green Party Vancouver School Board trustee.
26, 2016 Updated: September
27, 2016 3:50 PM
you have room in your garden for another tree? Or perhaps you don’t
have any trees in your garden and you think it’s time to plant
the perfect time to do it. And Vancouver Park Board is making it a
whole lot easier by offering residents 3,000 trees at a bargain
price of $10 each as part of the city’s plan to get 150,000 trees
planted by 2020 in a bid to “replenish the urban forest” and make
Vancouver one of the greenest cities in the world.
is the third time the city has made this offer. Featuring 27 varieties
of trees, the sale will be held Oct. 1 and 2. Residents
are encouraged to place orders online and then pick up their tree/trees
at the Hillcrest Community Centre, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way Vancouver.
sales are critical to us getting trees into the hands of private
citizens to support our goals of 150,000 new trees planted
in Vancouver by 2020,” says Margo Harper, spokesperson for the park
being offered include this extensive list: Bing cherry, Brown Turkey
and Desert King fig, Carolina allspice, cascara, Combination
apple, Constellation dogwood, Cupid sour cherry, Emperor Japanese maple,
McNair horse chestnut, Gladiator crabapple, hardy orange, Hot Wings
Tatarian maple, Japanese tree lilac, Leyland cypress, Little Woody
redbud, Mayday tree, Pagoda dogwood, Prairie Spire
Green ash, Prairie Torch buckeye, Rainbow’s End spruce, Showy mountain
ash, Showbird hawthorn, Spring Show crabapple, stag horn sumac, Twisty
Baby robinia, vine maple, and Norway spruce.
have had pretty slow uptake on pre-sales compared to spring and last
fall,” says Harper, “but there are some very interesting
and unusual trees for sale at great prices.”
residents can buy up to a maximum of three trees per household. The
trees are worth about $75 each but are not suitable
for balconies or inside the home.
“We are planning for annual spring and fall sales going forward,” says Vancouver park board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.
can play a vital role as planting partners to help us restore our tree
canopy and meet our goals for a healthy urban
forest,” she says.
Residents who have ordered and paid for their trees online can pick them up October 1st or 2nd at Hillcrest Centre.
A limited number of trees will be available for cash purchase on Sunday, October 2 between 2 pm – 4 pm.
are only available for sale to City of Vancouver residents. ID and
proof of address will be required when picking up trees.
Today, only 18 per cent of Vancouver is covered by tree canopy, a drop from 22 per cent in 1995.
The continuing defacement of a Vancouver monument has concerned citizens asking city hall for answers.
Geese droppings have been defacing the Women's Monument in Vancouver's Thornton Park since 2013.
The monument features 14 pink granite benches in memory of the
14 women who were murdered in the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre in
Montreal and is dedicated to ending violence against women.
Chris McDowell and members of the Women's Monument Committee pay their respects. (Cory Correia/CBC News)
Chris McDowell belongs to the Women's Monument Committee, which
is trying to find a long-term solution to keeping the benches clean.
"We created this with the support of thousands of people to fight
violence against women, and it really ruins it when it's covered in
excrement," said McDowell.
She says geese have been displaced into the park by nearby property
development and is urging city hall to create bylaws and policies that
make developers accountable for relocating wildlife.
A memorial bench at Thornton Park is covered in geese droppings. (Cory Correia/CBC News)
The benches are designed to gather rainwater and portray a pool of
tears. McDowell said when the geese were displaced, the bench
pools became their one water source.
"They excrete up to four pounds a day. They excrete involuntarily,
and when they drink they excrete. And it's just amazing what a mess this
monument can become," said McDowell.
Geese droppings are defacing the Women's Monument at Thornton Park in Vancouver. (Cory Correia/CBC News)
Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon says the park
board has looked into increased cleaning. They have also investigated
moving the geese and have put up signs asking the public not to feed or
disturb the geese.
But Mackinnon insists these solutions fall short of the bigger issue of animal displacement due to development.
"It's bigger than just the goose problem here, although that's what
we're talking about, but having developers take the initiative to
relocate in a humane fashion wildlife that they're disturbing, I think
that that's a very important issue and that's something the city can be
McDowell says the number of geese has grown from 12 to 67 over the
last three years, and with the construction of St.Paul's Hospital next
door, she experts more wildlife to relocate to the park in the future.
new bike share program is expanding into the city's largest park, with
plans for seven stations where cyclists can rent
Vancouver Park Board approved the new locations in the high-traffic
hotspot on Monday, a decision some local businesses are strongly
against. The board also approved another four stations elsewhere in the
bike rental shop owners located in the downtown core said they were
misled to believe that the bike share program would not
by Mobi, the city's bike share program was scheduled to launch in
mid-June, but was delayed until July when less than a quarter
of the promised bikes were released.
Still, more than 73,000 trips have been taken on the bikes since July, so the city is calling it a success so far.
even in its early stages, local bike rental shops were worried the Mobi
bikes would bite into their client base. Many say they
were assured the bikes would be catered to commuters, and would not hurt
the local businesses who rent mostly to tourists.
the park isn't really a commute to and from work. That's where the
issue begins," said Paulina Vargas from Bikes and Blades.
some of the shop owners say they feel they'll be forced to compete
directly with Mobi, which is subsidized by the city. The Mobi
bikes will also be right in the park, while the businesses' bikes are a
few blocks away, so visitors to the park might be even more inclined to
choose the more convenient options.
Saffari, from Stanley Park Cycles, said a station down the street has
already cut his business back at least 35 per cent. He
expects Mobi stations in the park itself will hit the shop even harder.
He said city officials consulted with bike shop owners, but then went against their wishes.
a representative from the city said officials were clear that there
would be stations around the downtown core, and that the bikes
may be good for business.
many cases, what we've heard from other cities is there's actually an
uplift in cycling in general, so this can be complementary
to them," Scott Edwards said.
pricing structure is such that we would actually encourage people, if
you want to rent a bike for more than half an hour or an
hour, please go support one of the local businesses."
The newly approved Stanley Park stations will be located at:
Second Beach south – 16 to 20 bike docks
Second Beach north – 14 to 18 bike docks
Third Beach – 32 bike docks
Stanley Park Pavilion – number of docks not yet determined
Vancouver Aquarium – 16 bike docks
Information Booth – 18 to 20 bike docks
Totem poles – 24 to 28 bike docks
The other new stations will be located at:
Kitsilano Beach Park, south parking lot – 32 bike docks
At a Board meeting last night, Vancouver Park Board directed staff to investigate potential sites for a seniors’ centre near Sunset Community Centre.
If built, the seniors’ facility would be the second one in southeast Vancouver after Killarney Seniors’ Centre.
Construction on that centre is scheduled to start early next year and be completed in 2018.
“Vancouver’s seniors’ population is set to explode in the next 25 years, so it’s important there are facilities
where seniors’ can connect in high demand neighbourhoods such as Sunset,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.
“It has been a pleasure discussing the potential for a new facility with the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, MP for
Vancouver South. Minister Sajjan is a strong supporter of the proposed seniors centre at Sunset Community Centre.”
Staff will explore a funding model similar to the Killarney Seniors’ Centre whereby the Board contributes land
with funding from the City of Vancouver and other levels of government. Plans would take into consideration the existing Sunset Community Centre
behalf of the Sunset Community Association board, we are pleased to
fully support a new south Vancouver
seniors centre in Sunset. As a neighbourhood with tremendous diversity
and a growing population of seniors, it will be a way to better serve
more members of our community,” said Sunset Community Association
President Greg Hubbard.
A seniors’ centre in the Sunset neighbourhood aligns
with the Park Board’s direction to staff in February to develop a comprehensive seniors’
strategy, which is being created to address how seniors can be best served and supported long-termby
Park Board facilities, services, and programs.
Staff is to report back early next year on proposed sites for the seniors’ centre.
In the next 25 years, the number of residents aged 65 – 74 will increase almost 80 percent
and the number of citizens older than 75 will more than double.
The Vancouver Park Board is calling on the public to give them
feedback on how the city’s parks and beaches can best be shared by
people and dogs.
People, Parks, and Dogs: A Strategy for sharing
Vancouver’s parks is currently in the works as the city’s dog population
continues to rise. Consultants are looking for public input through a
series of open houses in September and October.
Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon said the board receives calls all the time
ranging from dog owners complaining about a lack of off-leash areas, to
others complaining about dogs off-leash in undesignated spots.
“It’s probably the number one issue that we hear about,” he said.
said it’s been a controversial subject for over 25 years and different
boards have tried different things, including a citizen committee formed
about 10 years ago that couldn’t come to a unanimous decision.
new board has decided that this is a topic that we would like to tackle
and see if we can find a way to meet the needs of both dog owners and
non-dog owners in our parks,” he said.
Consultations will take
place at community centres, including Trout Lake, David Lam, St. James,
Roundhouse, Langara, Sunset and Kitsilano. The committee is also looking
at strategies from other cities. The new strategy will add to dog
off-leash guidelines approved by the Park Board in 2012.
in a fairly dense city, and the number of dogs and dog owners is
increasing all the time,” said Mackinnon. “And there’s bound to be
interactions between people with dogs and people without dogs.”
He said the committee is looking at factors like fenced areas, un-fenced areas, exclusive dog parks and exclusive non-dog parks.
The first public consultation will take place at Trout Lake Community Centre on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m.
Yesterday I sat for 7 hours listening to impassioned, articulate, and knowledgeable citizens speak to the Kinder Morgan expansion hearings. Every single speaker asked the panelists to not recommend the twinning of the TransMountain oil pipeline. After 6 hours I was given the opportunity to make my statement. Below is a transcript of my remarks:
Good evening, my name is Stuart Mackinnon, and I am an elected
Commissioner of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.
The Vancouver Park Board is the only elected body of its kind in
Canada. Formed in 1888 as a committee to manage the new Stanley Park, its
history is as old as the city itself.
It has exclusive possession, jurisdiction, and control over more
than 230 public parks in Vancouver and a large public recreation system of
community centres, pools, rinks, fitness centres, golf courses, street trees,
marinas, playing fields, and more.
The elected nature of the Park Board and the strength and focus of
its mandate have resulted in urban parks and recreation that today give
Vancouver an enviable and esteemed position world-wide.
Our mission as a Board is to provide, preserve, and advocate for
parks and recreation services to benefit all people, communities, and the
I am here today to do just that: to advocate for the preservation
of our unique and beautiful environment. An oil spill could have catastrophic
consequences for Vancouver. I speak specifically to our shoreline surrounding
Stanley Park, English Bay, Crab Park, the beaches of Kitsilano and west Point
Grey and the entire foreshore between and around these iconic places.
Oil spills have happened before, and there is no one—NO ONE—who
can guarantee that they won’t happen again. In 1973 in the span of a month, two
separate freighter incidents on Burrard Inlet resulted in the spillage of
bunker fuel oil. Beaches and shoreline in West Vancouver were coated in oil.
Local observers noted the immediate ecological effects of the oil spill,
particularly the impact on wild birds. SPCA officials predicted difficulty in
capturing, cleaning, and rehabilitating oil-covered birds. One West Vancouver resident
reported finding two birds “coated in at least two inches of bunker oil.”
Another resident of Bowen Island found a dead bird completely smothered with
oil. Federal environmental officials began to receive reports of dead fish in
English Bay and off Bowen Island.
The Vancouver Sun wrote of this event: that, obviously, human
error was inevitable and that “No one needs to be told that man is fallible,
the gods whimsical, the immutable combination that makes obscene nonsense of
assurances of safety on the proposed West Coast tanker run.”
In 2015, as you have heard earlier, another spill of bunker oil
resulted in a clean-up of our pristine shoreline at English Bay. By any
measurable standard these were small spillages, and yet they had significant
effects on our environment. These events were of great concern to members of
our community who enjoy walking, swimming and playing in a safe and beautiful
environment. It is unimaginable what a catastrophic oil spill would do to our
beaches and shorelines.
As the custodian of our beaches and parks I implore you to deny
this application. We know that it is not IF but WHEN the next spill will
occur. Will it be a catastrophic one or a minor one? It really doesn’t matter.
The outcome will damage our beautiful city and shorelines. I am charged by the
electorate to preserve, promote and protect the local environment. I hold
that to be a sacred trust. I will do all I can to protect our precious
shorelines and waterways. The risk of oils spills is too great and is
unacceptable to the people of this city. The citizens of Vancouver gave
me a mandate when they elected me. Today I use that mandate to ask that there
be no expansion of oil shipping in our waterways. Please say no to the Kinder
waiting to speak with Cllr. Adriane Carr (photos: J.Miller)