Pacific Spirit Park Society would like to extend our gratitude for the funds and in-kind donations we received this year. As a not-for-profit organization these generous gifts allow PSPS to run free high quality programs in Pacific Spirit Regional Park all year round.
We truly could not do our work without you!
This fall PSPS planted over 2000 trees in a large restoration site along South West Marine Drive, in a site that was once covered in Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberries.
Why was this area so impacted by the spread of invasive plants?
The other week a park visitor came by to chat and mentioned that years ago the site held the horse stables for the milk delivery carts. After the horse stables were no longer used, the site did not have any protection against the spread of invasive plants. If you have time, here is little video showing milk delivery with a horse drawn wagon in Vancouver many years ago. Do you recognize any of the streets? My, how things have changed!
Pacific Spirit Regional Park is one of the last places in Vancouver where children can play in nature. However, each year when we survey the park’s illegal trails we find more and more areas around elementary schools being impacted by off trail play.
What are your ideas for balancing nature play and ecological restoration?
Tom Nichols and the origins of Pacific Spirit Regional Park
The opening of Pacific Spirit Regional Park in 1989. Tom Nichols is in the back row under the word “for” in the grey sweater. Photo: MV Archives
Current role in the Park: Ivy League Leader
Preserving the Park since: 1973, before it was a park!
Favourite trail in the Park for Cycling – Council Walking
Favourite trail in the Park for walking – Sword Fern between Marine Drive and Imperial.
Tom was a steward of Pacific Spirit Regional Park well before it became a park and remembers the days when the “trails” were old logging roads. In the 1950’s and 60’s the endowment lands were slated for residential development, which motivated concerned neighbours to advocate for the protection of the beautiful forest and its unique ecological, cultural and historical values. Tom joined the Endowment Lands Regional Park Committee in 1973 and worked with them for 16 years until formation of the Pacific Spirit Regional Park (PSRP) was finally announced on December 10th, 1989.
Tom’s work in the Park did not stop there. He volunteered with other members of the Endowment Land Regional Park Committee to be a presence in the Park until 1991 when Metro Vancouver (then GVRD) established their Park Association partnership in the Park. Seeing the spread of invasive plants throughout the Park, Tom started tackling the English Ivy, which grows along slopes and up trees, reducing the stability of the slopes and trees and threatening native plant biodiversity.
Even though Tom has been preserving the Park for over 40 years, he maintains a strong vision for the future. Tom is working with Pacific Spirit Park Society and Metro Vancouver Regional Parks to develop an invasive plant management monitoring system which meaningfully measures the impact various invasive species have on the park in order to prioritize invasive plant removal. Further, Tom is looking at possible compensation restoration sites with the development of a new Metro Vancouver Pacific Spirit Regional Park works yard.
* Participants 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Congratulations to the Appleby Family in Abbotsford on winning the Kid’s Book Gift Card!
Contest Question: What is your favourite thing to do in Pacific Spirit Regional Park?
Their Answer: “Exploring and trying to find Star Wars land.” They are pretty sure there is a secret portal somewhere in BC!
Earlier this month I heard a wonderful story of how a little fence at the Pacific Spirit Regional Park Beaver Wetland has allowed for ecological restoration to naturally occur. In response to a concerned park user, Metro Vancouver staff installed a little fence this summer to block off-leash dogs from exploring in the Beaver Wetland. Over the past few months there has been a remarkable return of native plant vegetation, such as sedges and rushes, which create ideal breeding habitat for Northwestern Salamanders and Pacific Tree Frogs. While dogs love to check out the wetlands and streams in the Park, it is important to remember that these ecosystems provide important habitat and protection for lots of wildlife.
Curious about what other native wildlife has been seen in the Beaver Wetland this year?
- Coyote (including young)
- Northwestern Salamander
- Pacific Tree Frog
- Mallard Duck (including ducklings)
- Tree Swallow (nesting in hollow trees)
- Willow Fly-Catcher
- Golden Crown Kinglet
- Ruby Crown Kinglet
- Orange Crown Warbler
- Bush Tit
- Pacific Wren
- Cooper Hawk (nesting)
- Red Tail Hawk
- Downy Woodpecker (nesting in pines)
- Pileated Woodpecker (nesting in pines)
- Bald Eagle (observed teaching their young how to fly and hunt)
- Kingfisher (hunting)
- Great Blue Heron (hunting)
- Barred Owl
I wonder what you will discover the next time you are at the Beaver Wetland. The best place to view the wildlife is on Spanish Trail, between Pioneer and Salish (see red circle on map below).
You can let us know what you find at email@example.com.
Exciting news from a community volunteer, Yvan Boily, on an upcoming educational videogame that features Pacific Spirit Park. Kids will have a chance to learn history, about native/invasive plants, and how to manage them!
You can check out his post here.