Metro Vancouver was able to keep its regional parks open and visitors safe throughout 2020, providing an essential service to residents despite the numerous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regional parks experienced unprecedented visitation last year, with almost 16.5 million visitors connecting with important protected natural areas — a 38% increase over 2019. With visitation records set at 15 regional parks and three regional greenways, Metro Vancouver worked diligently to meet visitor needs and ensure residents continued to have places to be safe outdoors and reap the health benefits of nature.
Parks programs were delivered in innovative ways, and 5,629 people were able to take part in 310 programs, events and outreach activities, while close to 2,500 volunteers and park partners contributed more than 8,000 hours to stewardship, education and interpretive programs. All of this was achieved while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
As part of Metro Vancouver’s mandate to protect natural areas, nearly 240 hectares of parkland were added to the system in 2020. The Metro Vancouver Board of Directors supported this important function by adding $4 million to the Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund.
Read more about the state of regional parks in the 2020 Regional Parks Annual Report.