Public trails now open on Garden City Lands
19 June 2018
A new 2.9-kilometre public trail is now open on the Garden City Lands in Richmond.
“The Garden City Lands will become the green heart of our city,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “This spectacular open space on the edge of our City Centre is unique in supporting community farming and environmental preservation and providing tremendous recreational opportunities for the entire community. Opening of the trails is an important step in fulfilling the vision for this incredible jewel.”
The multi-use perimeter trail loop is universally accessible for use by both pedestrians and cyclists and will allow users to enjoy the natural beauty of the Lands while watching further progress on implementation of the Garden City Lands Legacy Landscape Plan.
Trail users are advised that only the perimeter trail loop (the sections immediately adjacent to Garden City Road, Westminster Highway, No. 4 Road and Alderbridge Way) are intended for public use at this time. A parallel trail network is reserved for use by farm equipment and City vehicles working on the site; in the interests of safety, the public is requested to remain on the perimeter trail portion.
In addition to completing the trails network, the City has also completed significant soil and drainage improvements to support planned farming and urban agriculture uses on the site; preserve the environmentally-sensitive bog area in the southeast corner of the site; and manage stormwater and groundwater flow throughout the site. More than 700 trees and 50,000 shrubs, all native to the area, have been planted along the perimeter trail to further enhance the site’s natural landscape. Additional landscaping and plantings, drainage management initiatives and environmental monitoring is continuing to support further implantation of the site plan.
A portion of the site has also been leased to Kwantlen Polytechnic University for use as part of its Farm School program. Site preparation is now underway for the Kwantlen’s inaugural farming season.
About Garden City Lands
The Garden City Lands are an extraordinary 55.2 hectares (136.5 acres) of open space located within the Agricultural Land Reserve, in the heart of Richmond, between Westminster Highway, Alderbridge Way, Garden City Way and No. 4 Road. The Garden City Lands will remain an important community green space with diverse uses, including urban agriculture, environmental preservation and interpretation, recreational and cultural uses. The project will be completed over several years.
Key components of the plan include:
- Dedicating up to 50 acres of the site for urban agriculture and farming uses.
- Preserving about 70 acres of the site in its ecologically-significant and natural bog state with boardwalks and lookouts sensitively integrated throughout to support environmental interpretation and public enjoyment of this area.
- An extensive trails system.
- A community hub acting as a focal point for public activities and principal gateway into the site. It will be comprised of gathering and festival spaces, play elements, community and demonstration gardens, and a small cluster of service buildings.
- The Rise, an eight-acre “mound” on existing raised area at the north end of the site, which will be used for various neighbourhood and community uses with seating and picnicking, pathways, open grass meadow areas, and fruit and woodlot trees.
- A sanctuary area in the centre of the site providing quiet space for reflection and other passive activities.
- A designated wetland, which will act as a natural collector of surface water draining through the site, and a water feature for public enjoyment.
- Public art and other cultural landscape features will be integrated throughout the site.
As the Lands remain within the Agricultural Land Reserve, all proposed uses will fit within guidelines established by the Agricultural Land Commission. The City will submit applications for approval to the Commission at future dates for portions of the project which do not conform to ALR regulations.