23 March 2016

Renewing playgrounds

The Vancouver Park Board owns and maintains 159 playgrounds for your family to enjoy year-round.
Many of our playgrounds are at the end of their lifespan and need renewing to ensure they remain fun and safe places to play.

All of our playgrounds were inspected in 2015 for compliance with CSA standards. The findings identified playgrounds that need immediate upgrades and ranked them in order of importance.
Find out what playgrounds we will rebuild and remove in 2016, and the ones we plan to renew by 2020. Let us know how we should renew the removed playground locations.
Map of playground changes

Current renewals

We're rebuilding these playgrounds in 2016 using designs that reflect what we heard from the community during our public engagement process in 2015.


We're removing these playgrounds in 2016 due to their age, condition, and safety concerns. Nearby playgrounds offer a safe and enjoyable play experience.
  • Champlain Heights Park east walkway playground
  • Clark Park east playground
  • Guelph Park central play structure
  • Langara Golf Course trail by Ontario Street
  • Riverfront Park West
  • WC Shelley Park
Note There may be plans to renew these playground locations once the structures are removed. Tell us what you'd like to see in place of the structures below.

Questionnaire: How should we renew the removed playground locations?

 We want to know what you'd like to see in place of the structures we're removing.


Tell us in our online questionnaires – one per playground – until April 1, 2016. Your responses will help us understand how to renew the playground locations.

Last modified: Mon, 14 Mar 2016 14:34:25

22 March 2016

Help Vancouver Park Board grow our urban forest: plant a $10 tree in your yard today!

March 22 2016
Buy a tree online at a heavily-discounted price and help grow our urban forest.

The Park Board tree sale has twenty-two varieties of trees available – fruit, flowering, shade, and conifer trees. You need to be a Vancouver resident to qualify.

Our tree sale is part of the first-ever Tree Week, April 2 to 10, and we expect it to become an annual tradition.

Buy a tree now and pick it up on April 2 or 10

The $10 trees include:
  • Almond trees
  • Cherry trees
  • Fig trees
  • Lilac trees
  • Magnolia trees
  • Maple trees
  • Oak trees
Not sure what to choose? Play #Treelationships, our tree-matching game.
Our arborists selected these trees because they thrive in Vancouver’s diverse growing conditions and provide many benefits like food and pollination. The trees are worth about $75 each and aren't suitable for balconies or indoors.

You can buy up to three trees per household.

Buy a tree now

Pick up your pre-paid trees on:
  • Saturday, April 2, 10:00am to 4:00pm, at Hillcrest Centre – check out our planting demos and tree-maintenance tips, and visit the Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey Stadium
  • Sunday, April 10, 9:00am to 3:00pm at Trout Lake Community Centre
We'll have a limited number of trees available for cash purchase.

Look for another tree sale this fall. We held a large public tree sale in fall 2015 in Stanley Park as part of Doors Open Vancouver.

Be our planting partners

“We’re selling 3,000 trees. It’s the largest tree sale that we’ve ever held and a great opportunity for you to do something positive for the urban forest,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung. “We have a long history of planting and caring for trees in green spaces and parks across Vancouver, but we need planting partners.”

Vancouver Tree Week

Tree Week involves community plantings at Everett Crowley and West Memorial parks and a variety of talks, walks, and tours for you to learn about trees with your community.

Learn more about Vancouver Tree Week

Tree Week supports the our Urban Forest Strategy and Biodiversity Strategy.
Our Tree Week partners include:
  • Stanley Park Ecology Society
  • Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Everett Crowley Park Committee
  • Museum of Vancouver
  • Vancouver tree expert David Tracey

150,000 trees by 2020 

Our urban forest includes all the trees in parks, streets, and yards.
It's vital for:
  • Cleaning our air
  • Managing rain water
  • Providing habitat for wildlife and birds
  • Improving health and well-being
With your help and from our partners, we're aiming to plant 14,000 trees this year. Our goal is 150,000 new trees by 2020.

Our canopy – the amount of ground covered by tree leaves, as seen from the air – has steadily declined over the past two decades. Today, 18% of Vancouver is covered by tree canopy, a drop from 22% in 1995.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

Phone 3-1-1 to ask, tell, and connect with the City
Outside Vancouver:
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More ways to contact us
Last modified: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 10:06:49

14 March 2016

New grants for emerging artists spark creative projects

City of Vancouver
News Release
March 14, 2016
New grants for emerging artists spark creative projects
The City of Vancouver is pleased to offer a new grant program for emerging artists, presented in partnership with ArtStarts in Schools. Creative Spark Vancouver supports emerging artists and fosters their capacity to work with young people.
Creative Spark Vancouver empowers emerging artists to engage young people (ages 5-18) in arts-based projects. Emerging artists across all artistic disciplines are invited to apply. Applicants must be residents of the City of Vancouver or residents and members of the Musqueam, Squamish or Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
“Vancouver has the highest concentration of artists per capita in Canada and our creative sector is a big part of our city’s nation-leading economic growth. Creative Spark Vancouver targets support to our local emerging artists so that they can build their CV and launch their career right here in Vancouver,” said Mayor Robertson. “Vancouver City Council is pleased to launch this new grant program in partnership with ArtStarts in Schools, and we can’t wait to see what creative ideas come forward from our cultural community.”
“When young people engage in the arts, something special happens. Creative experiences in the arts enable young people to explore new ways of learning, new ways of expressing themselves, and new ways of seeing and interacting with the world around them. The arts plant the seed for young people to grow up to be creative, innovative and engaged members of society,” says Lia Dicicco, Interim Executive Director at ArtStarts. “We are thrilled about the exciting opportunities for both emerging artists and young people that will be made possible through this partnership with the City of Vancouver.”
The grants offer 100% funding for small projects, up to $1,000. These funds are intended to cover artist fees, project materials and supplies, rentals and honoraria. The goals of Creative Spark Vancouver are to:
  • Build the capacity and confidence of emerging artists working with young people and arts-based learning;
  • Provide young people opportunities to engage actively in the arts; and
  • Embrace diversity, innovation and artistic excellence.
Creative Spark Vancouver enables emerging artists to gain experience on small projects that could lead to new career opportunities, new community relationships, different perspectives on arts and education, future learning opportunities and exciting multi-faceted projects.
An information session for artists in learning more about Creative Spark Vancouver will be held an March 24 from 2pm to 4pm at ArtStarts in Schools (808 Richards Street, Vancouver). Upcoming deadlines to apply for Creative Spark vancouver grants are April 15 and August 4, 2016.
Funded by the City of Vancouver, Creative Spark Vancouver grants will be disbursed by ArtStarts in Schools, a not-for-profit organization recognized as a leader transforming the way BC’s young people are engaged in and through the arts, and in promoting the value of the arts in young lives.
For full details and to apply, visit: http://artstarts.com/creativesparkvancouver
Media Contacts:
Siobhan Rich, Communications Manager                
ArtStarts in Schools                                     

604.336.0626 ext 109                                    


11 March 2016

B.C. storm sparks questions about legality of trees on public property

By Lien Yeung, Maryse Zeidler, CBC News Posted: Mar 11, 2016 6:30 AM PT Last Updated: Mar 11, 2016 6:30 AM PT
A tree that fell on a home during a wind storm and killed a woman sleeping inside has raised questions about who is legally responsible for maintaining trees on public property.
Jill Calder died early Thursday morning when a tree broke through her roof while she was in bed. The one-metre-wide tree was located on a green belt behind her house in Port Moody, B.C.
Personal injury lawyer Shadrin Brooks says cities can't be held legally liable for a tree on public land unless there's evidence they have been negligent in maintaining the tree. An argument could also be potentially made if a tree was obviously dead or dying.
"They're not necessarily responsible for every accident that occurs," he said. "They have to have a reasonable policy and they have to follow their policy but they're not really responsible for every loss that occurs on their property."
Howard Normann, Vancouver Park Board's director of park operations, says four officers inspect every tree in Vancouver at least once a year, and additional crews do maintenance year-round.
He says despite the tragedy in Port Moody on Thursday, and the increasing likelihood of inclement weather due to changing climates, Vancouver's tree maintenance program will remain status quo.
"I feel comfortable that the program we're currently using is working," he said. "We didn't have that many trees that came down last night or this morning."
However, Normann says residents should notify the city if they see a tree that could be hazardous.

Vancouver parks lack recycling bins: study

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Some of Vancouver’s parks barely have a single recycling or organics bin within them — big parks too, like Queen Elizabeth — and the “greenest” city says there won’t be anything committed until 2017 to address the oversight.

The issue was identified in a City Studio report conducted by Langara College students, who examined the number, locations and contents of bins at four Vancouver parks — Hillcrest, Queen Elizabeth, John Hendry and South Memorial.

The report found the vast majority, if not nearly all, of the bins were trash cans, many of them stuffed with recyclables or organic waste that could be diverted away from landfills.
Park Board commissioner Michael Wiebe said the lack of recycling facilities in parks is contrary to the city’s stated green goals.

“What’s been customary for Vancouverites is when we’re at the park ... people put their bottles beside the garbage bin and someone will come and collect them. But that’s not how our parks should look. That’s not part of the process. That has become common practice,” he said, adding there are about 30 trash cans per recycling bin currently present.

One of the issues is placement and design — and a potential idea, Wiebe said, could be implementing waste disposal stations with three openings — one coloured green for organics, a blue one for recyclables, and a black one for garbage.

“The Stanley Park cleanup happened because people made a fuss ... we shouldn’t have pool-sized amounts of garbage in Stanley Park,” he said.

“Creating the proper bins is one of the fixes we need.”

Albert Shamess, director of waste management at the city — which provides collection for the park bins — said the reason bins don’t already exist is due to “contamination.”

“In actual fact there isn’t a lot (of recycling bins) around city streets. One of the big problems has been contamination ... in addition to recyclables you see a lot of garbage,” Shamess said.

“The Park Board is obviously looking for increased cycling. We’re looking for increased recycling. We’ll work with them on what that looks like, what the cost will be and logistics on program development. Then we’ll go back to council with a report.”

Shamess added the report to council will be made this fall, as part of submissions for the 2017 budget.

(c) 24 Hours

07 March 2016

City and CP agree to landmark agreement for the creation of the Arbutus Greenway

City of Vancouver
News Release
March 7, 2016
City and CP agree to landmark agreement for the creation of the Arbutus Greenway
The City of Vancouver (City) and Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) have reached a historic agreement that will secure the legacy of the Arbutus Greenway for public use for years to come. The City has agreed to purchase the railway route from CP, which represents 42 acres of open space running approximately 9 km from Milton Street to 1st Avenue for $55 million. 
“The City’s historic purchase of the Arbutus railway is great news for Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Thanks to this landmark agreement, the City will be able to transform the area into an outstanding greenway and connect neighbourhoods from False Creek to Marpole. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, not unlike New York’s High Line and other international examples. City Council is looking forward to the next steps in this process and to working with the community to enhance the greenway for all users.”
“For many years now, CP has been involved in conversations with the City about the future of the Arbutus corridor,” said Keith Creel, CP’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are pleased that today’s landmark agreement allows the City to create a transportation corridor and greenway while providing a fair return to CP and our shareholders.”
This agreement signals the end of a long negotiation process between the City and CP that lasted over four years, and ensures that Vancouver residents can continue to use the transportation corridor and greenway as a walking and cycling route. In 2013, the City included the Arbutus Corridor as a green transportation corridor in the City’s Regional Context Statement, approved by Council and the Metro Vancouver Board, and is now integrated into the provincially-approved Regional Growth Strategy. The City and CP are pleased to have arrived at this landmark agreement that provides new opportunities for the creation of a greenway. 
City staff will now begin to look to improve or upgrade certain parts of the Corridor to enhance public space, and will launch a dedicated Arbutus Greenway Project Office to oversee the design process and solicit public input on the final design of the transportation corridor and greenway.
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