Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Easy bike ride follows Still Creek to Burnaby Lake

Burnaby Lake is a haven for birds. These goslings stay close to their mom and dad. Photos by Bryden Fergusson

BY JULIE CHENG

In these COVID-19 times, many people are choosing to ride their bikes to get from point A to B. It’s a great way to maintain physical distancing and get some exercise, sunshine and vitamin D at the same time.

If you’re looking for a safe ride, take one of the bike paths under the SkyTrain lines, which are well marked and have crossing lights at busy streets.

Central Valley Greenway from Renfrew/Rupert SkyTrain station to Burnaby Lake

This route gives you views of Still Creek and takes about 1.5 hours roundtrip from Renfrew Station.

1. Pick up the Central Valley Greenway from the Renfrew or the Rupert SkyTrain station.

2. Head east, safely cross busy Boundary Road at the crossing light.

3. The greenway takes you behind Home Depot. After the Home Depot parking lot, turn right at Gilmore.

4. Cross Gilmore at Still Creek Avenue, heading for Dick’s Lumber.

Pick up the trail at Gilmore and Still Creek Avenue next to Dick’s Lumber.

Looking northwest behind Dick’s Lumber to the towers of Brentwood.

5. Follow the Central Valley Greenway, past the Toyota dealership on your left, Costco across the street on your right and the Burnaby Eco-centre (recycling centre) on your left. Be careful of the trucks leaving the driveways along this industrial stretch.

6. Cross Douglas Road and turn right where you can pick up the greenway next to Still Creek.

Sights along the way include the remains of a beaver dam in a small tributary that runs into Still Creek. Photo by Julie Cheng

7. Continue past the overpass near the Sperling SkyTrain station. The trails of Burnaby Lake are now 5 minutes away.

South of Sperling SkyTrain station heading east towards Burnaby Lake, now just 5 minutes away.

Enjoy a peaceful ride in the shade of trees.


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June 2020 issue of RCC News is here

 

Physical distancing is the new normal. But despite COVID-19, you can still stay connected to your community through the RCC News. Please stay well and safe while you’re out and about.

Click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Norquay families get used to home schooling
  • January Wolodarsky leaves CNH after 23 years of bringing community together
  • Anti-racism town hall
  • Coronavirus fact and fiction: pandemic myths brings out racism
  • Help save the Renfrew Ravine from the invasive knotweed
  • Biking Still Creek to Burnaby Lake

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the July 2020 issue is June 10.

We welcome story submissions from 300 to 400 words long. Accompanying photos must be high resolution in a jpg file at least 1 MB large and include a photo caption and the name of the photographer.


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New trails open up the wonders of Renfrew Ravine

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.

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.

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