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May 27, 2024, 12:52 pm

District of West Vancouver Announces Huge New Park with Support from BC Parks Foundation

District of West Vancouver
WEST VANCOUVER -  A broad expanse of West Vancouver’s mountainside, which forms a stunning backdrop to Vancouver, will remain protected forever, thanks to a massive new park being created by the District of West Vancouver. To support stewardship and responsible use in the area, the BC Parks Foundation is launching a Cypress Hollyburn Legacy Fund with a $3m matching gift from the Wilson 5 Foundation. 

“Today we are proud to share we will be protecting 781 hectares – or 1932 acres – of forest land as our gift to our community and the world,” says Mayor Mark Sager. “This area will help preserve sensitive ecosystems and wildlife and store carbon to fight climate change. It will also ensure that old growth trees will continue to stand in our stunning municipality, which we know is very important to our residents and people across the globe. We also recognize that this new park dedication will maintain the beautiful view of the mountains, which is something that everyone in the metro region can enjoy.” 

The area is almost double the size of Stanley Park. It is a key puzzle piece in a larger system of protected areas, including Cypress Provincial Park, Capilano and Seymour Watersheds and other parks within the District of West Vancouver. It also protects lands around the Old Growth Conservancy, home to an important stand of old growth trees in West Vancouver. Combined, these areas cover more than 32,000 hectares – one of the largest protected areas in the world so close to a major urban centre.

“We are thrilled to be able to help protect this iconic Vancouver landscape and all of its wonderful values,” says Andy Day, CEO of the BC Parks Foundation. “It’s the right thing to do at this moment in history-- people coming together to do something tangible, positive, and lasting for the planet and people’s health.” 

The Wilson 5 Foundation’s gift is a matching challenge – they will match every dollar contributed to the Fund, up to $3million. “I can’t think of any better and more lasting way of giving back to the whole community,” says Summer Wilson. “Protecting and taking care of a place like this is good for people and other species now and far into the future. It’s a beacon of hope and we hope others will join us in contributing and keeping it beautiful for all to enjoy, forever.” 

Matt Davies of Cypress Mountain Resorts also supports the new Fund, saying that it will help ensure lasting stewardship and responsible and safe enjoyment of the area. “Cypress Provincial Park is the most popular provincial park in BC—people love it up here. We all need to do what we can to keep this area beautiful. We’ll be proud to help contribute to this new Fund.” 

Park dedication for this area has been strongly supported by community groups for years. In 1990 citizens rallied to stop a golf course proposal, resulting in the Old Growth Conservancy Area, which is managed by a local non-profit group. The North Shore Mountain Bike Association, BC Mountaineering Club, West Van Streamkeepers, and Hollyburn Ridge Association are all active in trails, creeks, and education. 

“This is fabulous,” says Alan Bardsley, a volunteer who has been part of the Old Growth Conservancy, mountain biking, and other advocacy in the area for 17 years. “This place has absolutely wonderful forest ecology. There are so many magnificent old growth trees. And the Fund is much needed for safe and responsible use of the area. It will bring people together to keep this area beautiful for everyone to enjoy.” 

The District looks forward to meaningful conversations with the community and First Nations about the future of this newly-dedicated park.

 

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