Cape Roger Curtis is set to be the site of a massive new regional park on Bowen Island, Metro Vancouver announced on Wednesday morning.
The 97 hectare space sits on the southwest corner of the island, bordering Crown land which includes the Fairy Fen Nature Reserve and Huszar Creek, and the new Wild Coast Nature Refuge. It is also located within the Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Draft plans for what will be in the park include picnic areas, expanded trails, and beach access. There is also a substantial campground component to the new space, with around 100 overnight campsites as part of the proposal.
The campsites will be broken down approximately as: 50 walk-in/bike-in sites; 35 drive-in sites; and 10 tent cabins. There won’t be any recreational vehicle or trailer camping allowed.
The 24 parcels of land were purchased by Metro Vancouver for around $40 million. “Regional parks safeguard natural areas that are home to important ecosystems and contribute to the health and well-being of our residents by connecting them with natural spaces,” said Metro Vancouver’s board of directors chair Sav Dhaliwal in a press release.
"This new regional park initiative is incredible news, not just for Bowen Island, but for the entire region,” says mayor Gary Ander.
“Cape Roger Curtis holds some of the most unique ecological characteristics in the region — and this park enhances local efforts by the Bowen Island Conservancy and many islanders to protect the area. It will provide excellent recreational and educational opportunities for island and regional residents alike for years to come. The municipality looks forward to working with Metro Vancouver on this exciting initiative,” said Ander.
Importantly, the land also lies on Squamish Nation territory. "This regional park will make it easier for current and future generations to enjoy nature and help to preserve the coastal ecosystem, which Squamish Nation has stewarded since time immemorial," said Squamish Nation councillor Sxwíxwtn in the press release.
"We look forward to working in partnership with Metro Vancouver and Bowen Island Municipality to see how we can incorporate our language and culture in the park planning process," added Sxwíxwtn.
Metro Vancouver's park plan will now come to the municipality for rezoning requests and amendments to the Official Community Plan.