The aim of PSPS is to engage community volunteers in environmental stewardship activities in order to protect the natural integrity in the park. We hold a vision of an urban forest and foreshore park protected and cared for in perpetuity for the benefit of all.
Like other park associations in the region-wide Metro Vancouver Regional Park Partnership program, the Pacific Spirit Park Society (PSPS) acts as public stewards and a community portal for various stakeholders in the park. We provide a way for park users to participate in restoration work and data collection, as well as offering environmental education through a variety of nature interpretation programs for children and adults. Our programs are run by volunteer leaders and PSPS staff who are dedicated to the preservation of the park’s natural beauty and ecological integrity.
Approximately 80 – 85% of the volunteers in our stewardship and data collection programs are youth and young adults between the ages of 14 – 25 years of age. In addition, PSPS partners with new immigrant settlement agencies and other groups to ensure that our programs are inclusive and accessible to all.
- Advise Metro Vancouver parks on the protection, planning and operation of Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
- Promote the preservation and protection of natural features in the park through our weekly stewardship events.
- Encourage recreational use that is in harmony with natural preservation.
- Partner with Metro Vancouver Parks and PSPS partner organizations to ensure collaborative restoration projects.
- Support goals of PSPS by raising funds for ongoing and new initiatives.
- Maintain an inclusive society with a representative and active board.
- Membership is free and open to all park users.
- A Board of Directors (7-11 members) is elected by the Membership at an Annual General Meeting.
- An Executive (President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer) is elected by the Board of Directors to steer the administration of the Society.
In 1996 a group of over 60 people met at the Dunbar Community Centre to hear a proposal from the Metro Vancouver Parks Department about a partnership and fundraising initiative it was undertaking. From the start of the Regional Park system, community groups were encouraged to be involved in parks and by 1995 there were 260 groups involved across the region; over 35 groups were identified in Pacific Spirit alone. Metro Vancouver Parks Department wanted to see if an inclusive society could be formed in each park to speak on behalf of citizens.
When one looks across the Metro Vancouver system there are many examples of hatcheries, restored heritage buildings, a multi-million dollar indoor camp for health-challenged youth all built with funds raised by various community groups. The Metro Vancouver Parks Department hoped that a “synergy” would occur through the formation of park societies, so that they could access funding in order to continue public stewardship and participation in Regional Parks. As the representative of the community at large, park societies were included in the park planning process in exchange for raising funds and contributing “sweat equity.” In exchange they pledged to develop inclusive and representative societies.
For about 18 months, 17 people met every month to develop the bylaw and constitution of the Pacific Spirit “Partnership” Society. These 17 people represented all of the various user groups who were active in the park at the time; the diversity of the group lead to some very spirited debates. Meetings often led to mini discussion groups in parking lots after. At the end a consensus was reached and the Pacific Spirit Park Society was officially incorporated in 1998.