Vancouver Park Board approves $399-million, four-year improvement plan

Jul 21 2018, 4:29 pm

Just months away from the civic election, the Vancouver Park Board has approved a $399-million, four-year capital plan, which is part of the City of Vancouver’s overall $2.8-billion capital plan.

According to a staff report, the plan is the largest spending measure in the Park Board’s history, with spending targets set at nearly three times higher the 2015-18 capital plan and seven times the 2012-14 capital plan.

Here is what the budget will go towards:

  • $125.7 million for recreation facilities:
    • a renewed Marpole Community Centre at Oak Park with a new full-sized outdoor pool
    • renewals of the community centres at RayCam, Britannia, and Strathcona
    • new developer-funded community centres at the Oakridge Centre and Plaza of Nations redevelopments
    • planning for the first phase of the redevelopment of the cluster of Park Board facilities at West End Community Centre, Joe Fortes Library, and King George Secondary School
  • $105.4 million for park amenities, which involves renewing and enhancing older parks, playgrounds, spray parks, and other improved designs
  • $80 million for parkland acquisitions, with waterfront land being a top priority, particularly along the Fraser River
  • $14.4 million for urban forest and natural areas, which is achieved by planting 14,000 trees per year
  • $8.4 million to improve the seawall and waterfront, including a renewal of the False Creek seawall and detailed design work for the new Jericho Beach Park Pier
  • $24.4 million for programmed activity areas, such as new and improved sports fields
  • $10.9 million for general features and infrastructure, including park roads, parking lots, benches, community gardens, and drinking fountains
  • $21 million for park buildings, directed towards renovations of washrooms, fieldhouses, and concessions
  • $9 million for service yards, specifically for the renovation of the Sunset Service Yard on 51st Avenue

The Park Board says the new and improved green spaces and recreational facilities are necessary to meet the demand expected from the city of Vancouver’s forecasted population increase of 60,000 over the coming decade.

Vancouver City Council is expected to approve the overall municipal capital plan in a meeting on July 25, 2018.

This past spring, the City of Surrey also approved an ambitious $357-million plan to build dozens of new parks and recreational facilities, although this plan also included cultural facilities and has a longer timeline over 10 years.

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