In 1886 the Vancouver City Council leased the park for $1.00 a year from the province to protect it for public use. Lord Stanley, a Conservative Party politician then Governor General, opened the park officially in September of 1888. We are please to announce that Stanley Park is the amazing venue for the 2022 Tidal WAV Event on Friday, June 3, 2022 thanks to the support of The Vancouver Parks Board. All events will be free for students and community members participating in the wide range of outdoor activities on Second Beach, in the park, by the Ranger’s booth, on the playground and in the park from 9 am to 7 pm.
Wild About Vancouver is a grassroots movement dedicated to improving the lives of children and community members through outdoor activity and learning. Check out the WAV website (wildaboutvancouver.com) for ideas and lesson plans from educators and other community members passionate about spending times outdoors and supporting all aspects of experiential learning outdoors – physical development, STEAM learning, and mental health.
If you live in Vancouver or are visiting the city, there is a good chance that you will gravitate to Stanley Park. It is easily accessible by bus, skytrain, seabus, and has ample pay parking. Over 8 million people visit these 100 acres (400 hectares) of urban park each year. The Vancouver Aquarium, the horse drawn tours, the heated outdoor swimming pool, The Tea House, Prospect Point Bar and Grill, The Stanley Park Brewpub, and the many concession stands are busy havens of activity for people with money in their pocket.
The best thing about Stanley Park is that you don’t need to spend money to nurture your mental health, get some exercise and learn about the history, culture and engage in meaningful learning and experience nature. This is particularly important, given that Vancouver has the highest percentage (16.5) of residents living in Canada of low-income households, according to analysis by Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program (2016 census data). It Stanley Park is accessible and open to all to enjoy.
Stanley Park is comprised of forest, wetland and seashore shared by over 1,665 species. You can take in scenic views of ocean, lakes, mountains, sky and natural West Coast trees and birds. Public beaches are open for swimming and staffed with lifeguards from 11:30 am – 8:00 pm during the summer months, carrying on the long established tradition of Joe Fortes. You can walk, jog, bike in the infrastructure of trails in the park and not spend a dime. You can walk the 9 km of the seawall around the park in 2-3 hours, or bike or rollerblade in one hour. If you’re lucky, you can have a conversation with one of the park rangers or Junior Park Rangers. You can even participate in caring for the ecological health of this local treasure.
Stanley Park was home to the Squamish Nation for thousands of years and provided resources for the Musqueam Nation. Latash Nahanee of the Squamish Nation tells stories of his relations giving birth in this park and enjoying the plentiful food sources from the ocean and the forest. Certainly, the excess of Canadian Geese was not a problem they pondered and I’m certain they were not addling the eggs. Clay was plentiful at Second Beach. Large cedar trees were used for dugout canoes, and clothing. There is much we can learn about the stories, practices, beliefs and how place played an integral part in daily life of the Coast Salish people, and how they managed to meet their needs without leaving a path of death and destruction of species and habitats.
The British colonized British Columbia during the 1858 Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. They quickly discovered that Stanley Park had a treasure trove of trees. The Park was selectively logged from 1860 – 1880 by six different companies. The infrastructure of trails through the forested areas were old skid roads from these days. Brockton Point was selected as the ideal spot for a lumber mill in 1865 and close to 40 hectares (100 acres) were cleared for this purpose. Coal Peninsula was then set aside for military fortifications to guard the entrance to Vancouver Harbour. This saved Stanley Park from further development. Today there are roughly half a million trees, some as high as 76 metres and some that are hundreds of years old. For the past 100 years, trees have come down only due to three significant windstorms and the massive clean-up afterwards. The cleared area from days gone by became Brockton Oval, a sports field that has been well used since that time.
Wild About Vancouver is a grassroots group that is always working to engage community participation. The success of events offered, the planning, the promoting, the coordination and the fundraising is determined by community involvement.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022 from 7 – 8:30 pm. Please consider joining us.
Wild About Vancouver Steering Committee Meeting
- Status update on planning and fundraising efforts
- Future directions and tasks
- Working groups will meet in breakout room.
- Participants will choose the breakout room that they want to join
- Reporting back to the group
Please email WAV at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to access the ZOOM link for the January 25, 2022 planning meeting at 7 pm.