04 January 2011

Stay off the ice on Vancouver’s lakes and ponds

The Vancouver Park Board is asking would-be skaters not to venture out onto frozen lakes and ponds in city parks. Most ice is too thin to support people or even pets.

Recent cold temperatures have allowed ice to form on lakes and ponds; however the ice is not thick enough to permit skating. Warmer temperatures, snow and rain in the forecast will add to the danger.

Warning signs are posted at traditional skating locations and park rangers and lifeguards are patrolling the areas reminding people to stay off the ice.

Locations include Trout Lake at John Hendry Park, Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake in Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Jericho Beach Park, Vanier Park and Sutcliffe Park near the entrance to Granville Island.

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General enquiries: 3-1-1 (within Vancouver) or 604-873-7000 (outside Vancouver)

Media enquiries: Barb Floden, Communications Coordinator, at (t) 604-257-8438 or (c) 604-992-5646

03 January 2011

Six goals for 2011

It is hard to believe that this is the last year of my mandate from 2008. Time flies! With about 11 months left in this term I have 6 major goals for the year.

1) Management restructuring of the Park Board to make it more efficient and responsive. The Park Board needs to restructure--this is something we have known since the beginning of this mandate. The previous General Manager, Susan Mundick, wanted to start on the restructure after the election but was swept away and now here we are in our last year with little to show for it but a lot of folks in 'acting' positions. Restructuring the management to better reflect the nature of the organization would go along way to streamlining decision making and cost cutting too.

2) A stewardship plan for Stanley Park. Staff is working out the details now on an overall management plan for Stanley Park. Many parts--like the state of the ecology, and forest management plans--have already been completed.

3) Support Commissioner Woodcock's call for a visioning for Beaver Lake. This little gem in the heart of Stanley Park is in dire need of help. We need to put together a plan for the future that respects the integrity of the lake so that it fits into the bigger picture of the park as a whole.

4) An honest reassessment of our Joint Operating Agreements with our Community Centre partners. The stop/start process that has been on again/off again over the past few years must be changed into a respectful dialogue that is beneficial for the community at large.

5) A Capital Plan that recognizes the aging infrastructure of our community amenities and the real needs of the Park Board.

6) A fair and equitable contract for our hard-working and dedicated employees. Approaching the negotiations from a position of respect will go a long way to making the process a lot easier.