20 April 2012

Cherry Blossom Festival Walks and Talks in Vancouver Parks

More info from the Vancouver Park Board

Apr 19, 2012 (No. 16) - Celebrate the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver parks this weekend by participating in Tree Talks and Walks hosted by Vancouver Park Board.
Stanley Park
Saturday, April 21, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Meet at the Rose Arbour at the Lower Rose Garden, on Pipeline Road in Stanley Park. This spot will be a focal point to discover many of the beautiful and unusual ornamental trees and plants in Stanley Park’s Shakespeare Garden. This talk will also discuss some of the history of the park and how the Park Board balances demands of the public with the need for open green space. Presented by City Arborist, Bill Stephen.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Sunday, April 22, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Meet at the parking lot (33rd Ave and Cambie) under the west end cherry trees. A guided tree walk highlighting the many exotic and native trees at Queen Elizabeth Park's arboretum, founded in 1949, contains tree species from around the world. This walk will focus on the ornamental qualities and garden-worthiness of the wide palette of trees which grow in Vancouver. Presented by Alex Downie, Supervisor of Neighborhood Parks.
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival runs from April 5 through April 28 with events and celebrations across the city. Through a variety of programs from Cherry Jam Downtown, Haiku Invitational, Bike the Blossoms, BC Blossom Watch Photo Contest, Tree Talks and Walks and the Cherry Blossom Viewing Map the festival captures the exuberance of the blossoming with cultural programming for the whole community to enjoy. Visit the website for the events calendar and locations at www.vcbf.ca .
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Media enquiries: Jason Watson, Communications Coordinator, at (t) 604-257-8438 or (c) 604-362-5032.
The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation maintains over 220 parks and 40 major facilities throughout the City of Vancouver. The Park Board's mission is to provide, preserve and advocate for parks and recreation to benefit all people, communities and the environment.

19 April 2012

Earth Day celebrations in Vancouver parks

From the Vancouver Park Board website:

Apr 18, 2012 (No. 15) - Celebrate Earth Day festivities in various Vancouver parks starting this weekend.
Everett Crowley Park
Saturday, April 21, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Vancouver’s longest running Earth Day celebration takes place at Everett Crowley Park. Hosted by the Everett Crowley Park Committee, the day includes the planting of 1,000 native trees and shrubs supplied by the Park Board, educational games and kids’ activities. Visit earthdayvancouver.org for details.
Stanley Park
Earth Day Ivy Busters: Community Invasive Species Management in Stanley Park
Sunday, April 22, 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Stanley Park’s natural habitats are being overtaken by alien invasive plants. Join Stanley Park Ecology Society for an enjoyable and empowering afternoon of careful conservation weeding efforts.
To RSVP and for info on where to meet and what to bring, contact Greg: stewardship@stanleyparkecology.ca or 604-718-6547
Earth Day Nature, Nurture and Renewal: Forest Fundamentals in Stanley Park
Sunday, April 22, 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Join Stanley Park Ecology Society’s nature educator on an easy walk to explore the importance of forests to wildlife and people, their structure and function, how they change over time, and how to recognize some of their most important and endearing inhabitants.
Fees apply: Adults $10, seniors and children $5. To pre-register, contact Krystal: programs@stanleyparkecology.ca or 604-718-6522
Stanley Park Nature House on Lost Lagoon
Weekends, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Indoors, along the shore trail of Lost Lagoon by the confluence of Chilco and Alberni Streets, engage in nature displays and stories by Stanley Park Ecology Society educators. Enjoy the complimentary spotting scope to watch for eagles hunting gulls, or the return of swallows to the lagoon’s nest boxes. Free. For more information visit: stanleyparkecology.ca/education/nature-house/
Hastings Park
Saturday, April 28, 6:00 am
“Dawn Chorus” Walk for Earth Week, with naturalist Al Grass. Meet at the north-east corner of the Sanctuary for a walk that will last about two hours, rain or shine! More information at hastingspark.ca
Celebrated every April 22, Earth Day is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide. More than six million Canadians join one billion people in over 170 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues.
Earth Day began in 1970 as an environmental awareness event and now provides an important catalyst for change for the many environmental challenges found locally, nationally and globally. Visit www.earthday.ca for more information.
Participants are encouraged to walk, bike or take public transit and leave cars at home.
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Media enquiries: Daria Wojnarski, Communications Coordinator, (t) 604-257-8440 or (c) 604-561-6925
The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation maintains over 220 parks and 40 major facilities throughout the City of Vancouver. The Park Board's mission is to provide, preserve and advocate for parks and recreation to benefit all people, communities and the environment.

18 April 2012

VanDusen Botanical Gardens: From Golf Course to Garden

Last Monday I was honoured to be elected a Governor of the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association. The VBGA operates the Gardens in association with the Park Board. It is also responsible for fund-raising and managing all the volunteers. With over 1600 volunteers there is certainly lots to do! I look forward to working with a terrific board to promote and preserve this gem in our city. Below is taken from the Vancouver Park Board website:

Until the mid 1960s this site, owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway, was one of Vancouver's first full-length golf links known as the Old Shaughnessy Golf Course. Destined to become a housing development by the 1970s, a dedicated group of citizens joined forces with the Vancouver Park Board to set aside 55 acres of the site for a botanical garden. This parcel of land also included the still undeveloped land (11 acres) located on the east side of Oak Street just south of Eric Hamber School. Through a unique partnership at the time, funding for the land, then valued at $3 million, was made possible by three contributors: Provincial Government ($1 million); City of Vancouver ($1 million) and W.J. VanDusen ($1 million). Mr. VanDusen's generosity was recognized by naming the garden for him.

This spectacular garden in the heart of Vancouver has matured into a botanical garden of international stature since opening to the public in 1975. The mild Vancouver climate allows the cultivation of an outstanding plant collection which is a delight any time of the year. There are over 7,500 different kinds of plants assembled from six continents.

The garden design features displays of plants in picturesque landscape settings. Specific garden areas are planted to illustrate botanical relationships, such as the Rhododendron Walk, or geographical origins, as in Sino Himalayan Garden. These areas are set amidst rolling lawns, tranquil lakes and dramatic rockwork with vistas of the mountains and Vancouver cityscape.

The VanDusen Botanical Garden is operated by the Vancouver Park Board and the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association.