Metro Vancouver planning to establish 240-acre park on Bowen Island

Feb 16 2023, 9:21 pm

If all goes as planned, Metro Vancouver Regional District could have a new additional protected park within its system of regional parks.

A 240-acre (97-hectare) parcel of Cape Roger Curtis on the southeast corner of Bowen Island would be designated as a new regional park. It would be roughly a quarter the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park or about 1% of Bowen Island’s entire land area of 63.6 sq km.

The regional district first announced in August 2022 it had reached a conditional agreement to buy 24 parcels for a combined total cost of approximately $40 million. As of this month, they are now conducting the first round of public consultation, with an online survey open through March 20, 2023.

The acquisition includes forested and waterfront areas, ranging from high bluffs to low banks, with about 700 metres of the properties fronting the water. According to the regional district, in recent years, there have been frequent sightings of orca and humpback whales from this location.

If established, the regional park would be adjacent to provincial crown land, including the headwaters of Huszar Creek and Fairy Fen Nature Reserve, and the Wild Coast Nature Refuge. This park is located within the AĢtl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

bowen island cape roger curtis

Location of Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island. (Google Maps)

Cape Roger Curtis Bowen Island Metro Vancouver Regional Park 1

Proposed area of the regional park at Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island. (Metro Vancouver Regional District)

Roger Curtis Lighthouse

Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island. (Metro Vancouver Regional District)

Some of the early ideas for the park operations entail day-use and overnight uses, such as nearly 100 tented campsites, plus picnic areas, hiking trails, multi-use trails, viewpoints, and waterfront access.

Last month, the regional district made an application to Bowen Island Municipality to amend the official community plan and rezone the parcels from rural residential to a “passive park” designation, with allowances for “supervised overnight tent camping.”

ā€œThe proposed regional park at Cape Roger Curtis would protect an important dry coastal bluff ecosystem and provide ways for people to connect with the outdoors,ā€ said George Harvie, chair of the regional district’s board of directors, in a statement. ā€œMetro Vancouver is looking forward to hearing from the BowenĀ Island community ā€” and the region as a whole ā€” about their vision, including potential opportunities for overnight use.ā€

Following the current public consultation, the regional district will hold two more rounds of engagement before finalizing the park plan in Fall 2023.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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