In mid-February, GVPN was invited to a workshop organized by the Capital Regional District (CRD) to provide feedback on the Regional Parks Strategic Plan Update. This updated plan will replace the Regional Parks Strategic Plan 2012-2021. As part of public engagement, the workshop was one of a series in which overall the CRD was hoping to connect with about 80+ stakeholder organizations. The session format was structured around broad, progressive, but generic statements, as part of the strategic plan’s proposed Vision, Mission, Values and Principles and Priority Statements. Public engagement continues into April 2022, and so, read on to learn about the ways that you can participate in the CRD Regional Parks Strategic Plan update.
How can we take a “placemaking” approach to planning parks?
The diverse perspectives brought by participating stakeholders hit on a multitude of topics. GVPN contributed to the conversation by emphasizing the need to strengthen the connection between people and places. We shared perspectives on providing high quality amenities, and improving access to spaces that many people may not otherwise discover. We’ve suggested placemaking approaches which make parks more accessible: through activity-based mapping, and education programs to enrich the visitor experience.
Similarly, it is important to find a balance between conservation and inviting people to experience nature and develop meaningful relationships with parks (to create passionate stewards!). The discussion revealed that accommodating a multitude of activities which connect people to nature can be tricky as it surfaces the age-old conflict between various users.
GVPN were encouraged to see a proposed vision for CRD parks which “connects people to nature and provides healthy outdoor experiences for all.” We are hopeful that CRD parks will improve on places and spaces for a variety of activities which connect people in nature. Meaningful connection opportunities are part of stewardship, as they create future advocates for conservation and biodiversity. Parks are important places for encouraging relationships between people and land, and amongst people; where people of all ages and abilities can come together in ways that are sustainable long into the future.
Want to share your placemaking perspectives?
Here’s two ways that you can participate in the CRD Regional Parks Strategic Plan update:
- Attend an information session on April 1st, 12pm-1pm, via Zoom. Register here to find out more.
- Complete this 15-minute survey that’s open to the public, until April 4th. CRD invites you to anonymously offer feedback.
The GVPN encourages the placemaking network members to share your perspectives! A summary report of stakeholder and public engagement is available online and the CRD will update this page as engagement progresses: https://getinvolved.crd.bc.ca/regional-parks-strategic-plan-update
Adina Israel is an environmental and urban planner focused on working with communities and organizations to co-design a resilient future for land, people and place.
Follow Adina on: LinkedIn
Molly Rose is a community planning consultant with an interest in creating spaces that help connect people to each other and to their environment.
Jessica Hum is the owner of Talking Circle Consultants, facilitating deep dialogue with clients on Turtle Island by documenting stories through writing, audio and visuals.