New walkways take residents deep into Renfrew Ravine. Photos by Julie Cheng
BY JULIE CHENG
“Have you come across the coyotes yet?” the walker asked me one morning.
It’s a completely different world down here, deep in Renfrew Ravine. The peace of the forest surrounds you; the sounds of the birds and rushing water soothe you. Then there are the coyotes.
I’d taken the steel stairs and timber steps leading from the Boyd Diversion entranceway near 22nd Avenue, past newly planted native plants and down to a boardwalk that winds its way alongside its creek, Still Creek.
The walkways are part of a park renewal that’s been years in the making. In October 2018, the Vancouver Park Board finally completed the construction of the new trails around Renfrew Community Park and Renfrew Ravine Park.
Renfrew Ravine Park is located between the 29th Avenue SkyTrain station and East 22nd Avenue. It’s the only park in Vancouver with a creek in a natural ravine. It’s never been culverted over, like many other Vancouver creeks, apparently because it was too far east and too steep.
The boardwalk runs along Still Creek. New trails around Renfrew Community Park and Renfrew Ravine Park were completed in October 2018.
Members of the Still Moon Arts Society, a local arts and environmental organization that co-produces the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, have long envisioned a trail system around the ravine and were key in getting these trails done.
Still Moon Arts has also been instrumental in the return of chum salmon to Still Creek. This happened for the first time after 80 years, in 2012. Since then, salmon have been seen spawning behind the Canadian Tire on Grandview Highway in late October or early November.
Access to nature has been linked to enhanced mood and well-being and lowered stress and depression. So it’s wonderful that residents young and old are discovering the wonders found in this urban forest, at the creek’s edge.
Just beware the coyotes.
A cascade of sword ferns above Still Creek.
How neighbours can help the salmon and the ecosystem in Renfrew-Ravine
- Do not use harmful chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. These run into the storm drainage system and may end up in Still Creek.
- Dispose of garbage, chemicals, paints and other liquids properly. Do not dump chemicals down the storm drain.
- Wash your car without soap or with phosphate-free soap.
- Join the Still Creek Streamkeepers to monitor the health of Still Creek and run activities that help improve water quality and ecosystems. You can also take part in monthly meetings. Find more info at stillmoon.org/learn/streamkeepers/
Renfrew Ravine improvements
- Staircases with better access to trails
- Accessible walkway into the trail system from the parking lot on Renfrew Street
- Bridges across Still Creek
- Dog off-leash park near Renfrew and 22nd Avenue
- Fencing and benches
─Source: City of Vancouver
Copyright 2019 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News