Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

Renfrew Ravine community consultation

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Residents have their say at a Park Board open house

BY DEANNA CHENG

The City of Vancouver worked with local residents last month on developing a master plan to improve the Renfrew Ravine and the community park.

On November 15, about 30 people showed up to the open house and workshop at Firehall No. 15. They reviewed panels that stated the goal of the master plan is to increase recreational opportunities while preserving and enhancing wildlife habitat.

A few suggestions were to update the playground, create a community garden and more gathering/event spaces, and improve trail connections and accessibility to those trails.

The workshop was designed to gather community feedback and to figure out which amenities to put in and which ones to remove, said Ben Mulhall, landscape designer at Catherine Berris Associates.

The Park Board was pleased with the number of community members who attended and participated in the workshop.

“The community around Renfrew Ravine and Renfrew Ravine Park has been very positive and supportive over the years during open houses and events,” Tiina Mack, manager of park development of the Vancouver Park Board, wrote in an email. “The participants on November 15th were equally as enthusiastic about enhancing the ecology of Still Creek, and it appears ecosystem restoration continues to be a strong commitment in this neighbourhood.”

Carmen Rosen, artistic director of Still Moon Arts Society, said the riparian area (between the land and the stream) has been compromised from logging 100 years ago, but community groups have worked to restore that area, making it possible for salmon to live in the water.

Catherine Berris, landscape architect and planner, lead the workshop and engaged the audience, which had little problem speaking up and voicing their ideas.

A couple youths sat among the attentive crowd. Alex Leung and Jordon Lui, members of the Windermere Secondary School Leadership program, are in charge of their school’s Renfrew Ravine Cleanup program.

Leung found the workshop informative and helpful in learning what people think and what needs to be done.

The three needs that kept coming up were safety, nature education and removal of invasive plants.

People wanted to maintain the integrity of the Renfrew Ravine but develop better trails to get to the water. They also wanted signage to educate the public about the species in the area.

On the community park side, people wanted a picnic area or a band shell. Someone suggested taking the fence by the creek down to get closer to the water.

Renfrew resident Alex Chisholm appreciated the chance to give his opinion, but did have some skepticism. “Will [the city of Vancouver] take this meeting seriously?”

If you missed the open house but would like to provide input, go to the online survey that’s available until November 30: http://www.placespeak.com/topic/600/renfrew-park-and-renfrew-ravine-park-master-plan/.

The next open house is planned for February 2013. The exact date and location is to be determined. Check the city of Vancouver’s website to remain updated: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/improving-renfrew-ravine-and-renfrew-community-parks.aspx.

Deanna Cheng is a resident of Renfrew-Collingwood and a journalism student at Langara College.

© Copyright (c) 2012 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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