Enhancing Regional Parks within Metro Vancouver, City of Abbotsford and Fraser Valley Regional District
Metro Vancouver Regional District (MVRD) and the City of Abbotsford have reached an agreement to amend regional parkland interests that will enhance opportunities for current and future regional parks and trails while also achieving cost efficiencies and improving regional park governance. Metro Vancouver will transfer parkland outside the MVRD to the City of Abbotsford. This agreement has been reached in partnership with the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) which is working jointly with the City of Abbotsford to create a new sub-regional parks function within the FVRD to serve Fraser Valley residents.
Finalizing the Agreement
The agreement requires the Province to approve an amendment to the MVRD Regional Parks Service Bylaw that will enable the City of Abbotsford to withdraw from Metro Vancouver’s regional parks function and enter into new sub-regional park function with the Fraser Valley Regional District.
Once approved, the City of Abbotsford will no longer participate in or contribute financially to parks within Metro Vancouver and will instead transfer its resources to the new FVRD regional parks function – resulting in greater accountability and governance oversight to the City of Abbotsford for regional parks within its boundaries.
Metro Vancouver will invest more funding into future parkland acquisitions to enhance its regional parks system, while continuing to collaborate with the City of Abbotsford and the FVRD on Experience the Fraser and related projects. The City of Abbotsford will achieve greater control of regional parks within its boundaries as well as cost reductions and service improvements through the reallocation of resources within its parks system. These changes will enhance regional parks programs in both regions as Metro Vancouver, FVRD and the City of Abbotsford continue to protect natural areas and threatened ecosystems while providing opportunities for people to experience, enjoy, and connect with nature.
Metro Vancouver Regional District
“This agreement is ultimately aimed at enhancing stewardship and improving economic efficiencies of park systems throughout both Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley,” Greg Moore, Chair of Metro Vancouver.
City of Abbotsford
“The lands and interests that will be transferred to Abbotsford will remain as parkland in our community for future generations to enjoy, and the City will experience a positive economic impact from this change. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Henry Braun, Mayor, City of Abbotsford.
Fraser Valley Regional District
“We look forward to entering into a sub-regional parks function with the City of Abbotsford that delivers ecologically precious parkland to recreational users in the Valley and better reflects our geographical boundaries,” Jason Lum, Chair, FVRD.
Transferred lands will include Matsqui Trail, Sumas Mountain and the eastern portion of Glen Valley, commonly referred to as Poplar Bar and Duncan Bar, and includes Crescent Island. Aldergrove Regional Park straddles both the City of Abbotsford and the Township of Langley, with the eastern portion to be transferred to the City. These parklands are all located in the City of Abbotsford, within FVRD boundaries. The remainder of Glen Valley Regional Park is located within the Township of Langley and will remain a MVRD regional park, as will the western portion of Aldergrove.
Proposed Amendment to the Agreement: Aldergrove Regional Park
There is a proposed amendment to the initial parkland disposition agreement to include the transfer of the eastern portion of Aldergrove Regional Park to the City of Abbotsford, which is also supported by all three parties. Metro Vancouver sought approval by the Provincial government to own and operate the park without requiring Abbotsford to be a participant in its parks function. The Inspector of Municipalities has recently responded to Metro Vancouver advising that the Province is not able to grant an Order-in-Council for this purpose. As a result, the eastern portion of Aldergrove Regional Park will be transferred to the City of Abbotsford.