Metro Vancouver is building a better understanding of the natural resources within its Regional Parks through collaborative partnerships with non-government organizations and local educational institutions such as UBC, Simon Fraser University, and BCIT.
The projects, which range from wildlife studies to greenhouse gas assessments, provide insight into how our parks function and characterize the natural resources that are important to the health and well-being of our parks and the people that come to visit them.
This past winter, for instance, BCIT students undertook an inventory of the streams feeding Minnekhada Marsh to determine the fresh water habitats within the park. For more than six months they mapped streams surrounding the marsh using GPS technology and characterized them in terms of structure and habitat value. The streams support a wide range of species including many species of fish.
Prior to the study, there was no detailed data available on how many streams fed the marsh, where they were physically located and what kind of habitat values are provided by them. The information provides a clearer picture of the resources to be protected within the park, as well as inform how to manage those areas. It will inform future public programming, interpretation and park resource management. Future studies will examine some of the plants and animals associated with those streams.