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Parks and Conservation Areas

The City uses a strong policy framework, from the Official Community Plan to protect the natural heritage of the City. Protection focuses on five key ecological areas or park lands: ocean, mountains, lakes & streams, forest and river.  The majority of these areas are also designated as part of the Official Community Plan and Regional Growth Strategy as conservation and recreational lands. They are dedicated by public referendum to assure their long-term protection and status as part of the City and region’s natural assets.

Provision has also been made within several of these parks for many diverse recreational and cultural opportunities. Facilities in these parks are designed to respect and maintain the protection of the natural environment and special natural setting.

Burrard Inlet Marine Estuary (Ocean)

Burrard Inlet

Burnaby’s Burrard Inlet foreshore was envisioned in as early as the 1920s to become one of the City’s great protected natural areas. All lands and access rights are acquired and developed to protect and enhance the marine ecosystem and provide waterfront access opportunities, including a continuous urban trail and greenway for Burnaby citizens. At Barnet Marine Park the City has acquired ownership of significant “waterlot” areas, lands that extends into the marine area of Burrard Inlet, which have been dedicated as park to protect the marine ecosystem. The upland park and conservation areas next to Burrard Inlet encompass over 67 hectares (165 acres) of lands protecting and enhancing the watershed and ecosystems of this unique and valuable marine environment.  These park areas also provide an important buffer between railway and industrial activities for adjacent residential neighbourhoods.  Industrial activity is limited to the Canadian Pacific Railway corridor with port access and development contained within the designated significant petroleum and refinery facilities. The remainder of the foreshore area has been designated in the OCP and the Metro Vancouver Port Plan to be conserved for its ecological values.

This Park and Conservation System includes the following areas:

  • Second Narrows Park
  • Confederation Park
  • Capitol Hill Conservation Area
  • Burrard Inlet Conservation Area
  • Barnet Marine Park

Burnaby Mountain (Mountain)

Burnaby Mountain

Burnaby Mountain forms the City's most prominent geological feature and landmark with its beautifully forested slopes rising to an elevation of  370 metres (1,214 feet ) above sea level.  This park was originally established in 1930 and dominates the northeast quadrant of Burnaby. The City has almost completed a land acquisition program to consolidate ownership of the 700 hectares (1,729 acres) within the designated park boundaries. The mountain also forms the headwaters to several watersheds, draining to both the environmentally sensitive Burrard Inlet and the Central Valley watersheds. The UniverCity development adjacent to Simon Fraser University provided the opportunity to protect additional environmentally significant lands associated with Naheeno Park and conservation lands related the escarpment and local streams.  The Conservation Area also includes defined development restrictions for the two industrial sites designated for petroleum storage and distribution uses. Continued civic acquisition of the few remaining private and government holdings will complete the assembly program. 

This Park and Conservation System includes the following areas:

  • Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area
  • Naheeno Park
  • Simon Fraser University Conservation Lands
  • Forest Grove Conservation Area

Central Valley (Lakes & Streams)

Brunette River Conservation Area

Burnaby’s Central Valley is a unique urban ecosystem. It includes a complex system of wetlands, bog, forest, streams and lakes. The first park plan for this area was established in 1927. Although a large percentage of this area has been preserved in its natural form, many have been recently reclaimed from urban redevelopment and rejuvenated through an ongoing civic parkland assembly and ecosystem restoration program.

This area occupies the central area of the City and includes the Still Creek, Deer Lake, Burnaby Lake Regional Nature Park, Brunette River conservation lands and the Cariboo Conservation Area. Collectively, these lands occupy about 695 hectares (1,717 acres), including 196 hectares (484 acres) of lake area. The area is home to a complex ecosystem including many rare species and is vital to the migration of many bird species that travel the ‘Pacific Flyway’.

This Park and Conservation System include the following areas:

  • Still Creek Conservation Area
  • Burnaby Lake Regional Nature Park
  • Brunette River Conservation Area
  • Stoney Creek Conservation Area
  • Eagle Creek Conservation Area
  • Cariboo Conservation Area
  • Deer Lake Park

Central Park (Forest)

Central Park was dedicated as a Provincial Park in British Columbia in 1891 and was a gift from the Province to Burnaby on its centennial in 1992. As the City’s oldest park it is steeped in history and stories and is valued for its landmark forest which stands in contrast to the City’s skyline on the Kingsway ridge. Its landmark 89 hectare (220 acre) forest is a century old second growth woodland dominated by Douglas Fir, Hemlock and Cedar. Located within Burnaby’s Metrotown plan area the park serves as the area’s primary recreational asset and accommodates a variety of uses.   

Fraser River Estuary (River)

Fraser River

Burnaby’s southern boundary on the Fraser River is a complex ecosystem related to one of the world’s great river deltas. The silver gray Fraser river once flooded the area’s rich bog lands that were also fed by many upland streams.  Here, salmon and other wildlife now coexist with the agricultural and urban development of the Big Bend. The City has developed the Fraser Foreshore Park along the western and central riverbank with miles of urban trails that connect with Burnaby’s larger trail system.

The City, in partnership with other government estuary managers, entered into an agreement in 1993 which established detailed Area Designations under the auspices of the Fraser River Estuary Management Program. These Area Designations establish categories of land and water uses for upland and foreshore areas acceptable to all parties. They provide a guide to the "best use" of the Estuary, based on its natural attributes and suitability for human activities. The agreement provides a framework for both development and conservation.

Burnaby’s Big Bend Community Plan provides the framework for protecting the river and its complex system of stream and bog ecosystems. The vision is to complete the remaining eastern sector of foreshore trail to provide a greenway corridor along the entire riverbank. A key component of the park is a 16 hectare (40 acre) habitat area designed to re-establish rearing habitats for salmon and other wildlife. The river is fed by ten creeks that drain through Burnaby’s South Slope in seven major ravine parks that are significant components of the parks and open space system. Collectively these lands comprise 558 hectares (1,378 acres).

This Park and Conservation System includes the following areas:

  • Boundary Creek Ravine Park
  • Kaymar Creek Ravine Park
  • Gray Creek Ravine Park
  • Froggers Creek Ravine Park
  • John Matthews Creek Ravine Park
  • Byrne Creek Ravine Park
  • Byrne Woods
  • Jerry Rogers Creek Ravine Park
  • Willard Park
  • Marshland Bog Forest
  • New Haven Parkland
  • Fraser Foreshore Park and Trails
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