Ecosystem Restoration and Enhancement
The City recognizes the importance of healthy, functioning ecosystems, which support an array of wildlife species and enhance the quality of life for people. The City’s Environmental Policies and Regulations set the context for restoration and enhancement of damaged or degraded ecosystems.
At the landscape level, in accordance with the regional Integrated Liquid Waste and Resources Management Plan, watershed planning is undertaken to assess current conditions and plan for a long term vision of healthy creeks and upland landscapes. These plans integrate considerations for improving fish habitat and water quality, mitigating flood risk, planning land use to protect aquatic ecosystems, and incorporate the contributions of many different stakeholders.
The City actively protects and acquires waterways and environmentally sensitive areas through the parks and open space plan and development approval processes. Stream restoration and enhancement projects are often undertaken as a condition of development approval as required by the City and/or DFO.
Ecosystem enhancement opportunities are often identified through watershed planning initiatives and protected area management plans, and many have subsequently been implemented through the City’s capital program and private sector contributions. Numerous sites along significant waterways throughout Burnaby have been improved with new and restored channels, expanded wetlands, streamside plantings and culvert improvement to facilitate fish migration.
All major institutional, commercial, industrial, and residential development projects in the City located adjacent to or connected with Burnaby’s environmentally sensitive areas are subject to review to ensure that restoration and enhancement initiatives are identified and incorporated appropriately into the design and construction of buildings and site features, including stormwater management systems. Burnaby has acquired significant areas of new development for ecosystem protection through the registration of legal covenants and easements to protect forests and waterways.
This integrated approach and process has resulted in a number of successful initiatives, including:
- Successful daylighting of 150 metres of Byrne Creek, along with development of new multi-family housing.
- Arising from the Still Creek Integrated Stormwater Management Plan completed in 2006, the Still Creek Invasive Species Report was prepared, outlining strategies to improve the ecological health and methods to control and manage invasive plants in the Still Creek corridor.
- The Central Valley Greenway Ecosystem Restoration project began in 2011, and includes pilot projects to control invasive species and restore native riparian forest vegetation in several sites along the route, based on recommendations from the Still Creek Invasive Species Report in 2006. Project components include a variety of techniques for site preparation (soil treatments and mulching), species selection, planting methods and site monitoring and maintenance, to improve success and reduce long term maintenance costs in invasive species control.
- A high density mixed use development in the Brentwood Town Centre area at Madison and Dawson (completed in 2005) incorporated significant habitat enhancement through land redevelopment, including the conversion of 5 acres of asphalt to create wetlands and meadow habitat to enhance Still Creek.
- The expansion of the Electronic Arts complex, beginning in 2004, included dedication and permanent protection of the Discovery Place Conservation Area, and forest enhancement in this area including removal of invasive species, planting of 1600 native trees and 5500 native shrubs to diversify the forest, and 10 years of monitoring and maintenance. A formal network of nature trails and interpretive signage was also developed, creating a recreational and educational amenity for employees and residents of the area.
- Associated with the development of a subdivision in southeast Burnaby near North Fraser Way and Marine Way, off-site compensation habitat was created next to the Fraser River, providing rearing habitat for salmon and trout with an intertidal marsh feature, and on-site enhancement to Jerry Rogers Creek was undertaken.
- Development of Glenlyon Business Park in south Burnaby included riparian enhancements to Byrne Creek, creation of biofiltration ponds to treat a portion of the site runoff prior to entering the Fraser River, sustainable landscaping, and connectivity to the Urban Trail network and Fraser Foreshore Park.
- Development of Burnaby Mountain Secondary School included enhancements to the riparian zone of a tributary of Stoney Creek.
- The Burnaby Business Park included construction of bioswales along North Fraser Way, to treat runoff from the site prior to flowing into Jerry Rogers Creek and the Fraser River.
- Ministry of Environment Ecological Reports Catalogue
- Ministry of Environment environmental protection initiatives
- Understanding Ecosystem Processes (Ministry of Forests brochure)
- Ecosystems of British Columbia (Ministry of Forests brochure)